I’m a little apprehensive about how this day is going to end. Because, for whatever reason, this election gives me a Year 2000 vibe.
I was sixteen and a sophomore in high school in 2000, so I had no say in the actual political contest. But our teachers couldn’t resist the opportunity to teach us lessons in civic duty by holding a faux election. Bush won in a landslide, and because I was still in the zealot phase of my political growth at the time, I had no problems expressing my displeasure with my conservative classmates.
I picked a fight with one of them in homeroom. It was a debate rife with emotion and rhetoric rather than logic and reason, but there is one thing I said that has stuck with me all these years.
“I voted for Gore because at least he won’t get us into a war.”
I was right. And normally, I love being right. But this was an exception, and I wish somebody had told my teenage self to shut her trap.
The hot mess that was the 2000 Electoral College probably won’t happen again today. Polls like this give me hope that I will wake up tomorrow and Barack Obama will still be President. But I still have this uneasy feeling that Mitt Romney might eke his way into the White House by the slimmest of margins.
(By the way, to anyone who is noting my earlier statement that I wouldn’t talk about politics on this blog, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided the fence is an uncomfortable place to be.)
I don’t have any problems with Mitt in particular. Anyone who runs the Olympics has got to know something about managing people with different backgrounds and getting them to work toward common goals without tearing each other apart. So when he says that he would make an effort to be bipartisan, I don’t actually doubt that.
But I trust the Republican Party about as much as I trust a witch doctor.
I’m no fan of the current iteration of the Democratic Party either. They don’t run a tight ship and have a tendency to be scatter brained, but I feel their social and economic policies are aimed at improving quality of life for a larger swath of people than the Republican’s policies are. The Democrats can be ineffective, but at least they’re heading in the right direction.
The modern Republican Party also has yet to show me that it has changed since the Bush years, which were not particularly pleasant ones in my opinion. My day-to-day life wasn’t impacted by his administration’s policies (aside from that tax-free Health Savings Account I got when I was freelancing, thanks for that one Dubya), but I feel that the country was ultimately steered off course by his time in the White House, and we’re still recovering from the long-term consequences of the Republican’s reign.
I really hope our country doesn’t go down that road again.
But at this point, I have no control over it. I’ve voted. My voice has been heard.
And if we wind up counting hanging chads again, someone just go ahead and kick me.