the election is over. hallelujah! this has been the most exciting presidential race in my voting history. granted i’ve only been eligible to vote for 2 elections so far, but still. regardless of who i voted for and whether or not i thought they ought to be elected or not, history was made in more ways than one. Hilary Clinton was the first woman to make it that close to making it to the highest elected office in the country, the highest percentage of youth voters registered and then actually voted, Barak Obama is the first black man to be elected president, and John McCain gave new meaning to the word war hero and gave what i think was one of the most moving and sincere concession speeches in recent history.
living in the pacific northwest, specifically Seattle, there is no doubt that liberalism runs rampant here. with this election there was an excitement and a political energy, specifically among the younger population, that i haven’t seen or read about in quite some time. i have to admit, i was excited too! which was also partnered with some concerns and disappointments. i think if you were to categorize me as anything, i’d be in the libertarian or independent category. but i hate labels. i love things that the republicans stand for, but i also love a lot of what’s considered to be very democratic. but the overall theme that i dislike the most in both parties is the idea that big government is good and that it’s needed. i strongly disagree. i don’t need to go into why, but i reserve the right to feel how i feel about it. and that’s the beautiful part of our country and it’s government. i have the right to feel however i want to feel about stuff, and i have the freedom to discuss that openly. i’ve heard some very disconcerting things recently that make me just sad. McCain/Palin yard signs being vandalized, death threats against Obama simply because he’s black, people declaring that only now they are proud to be an american, addresses being published to those who display republican yard signs with maps to their houses for the sole purpose of intimidation, people standing outside of poling places threatening those standing in line if they didn’t vote for the ‘right person,’ and personal attacks on all parties having nothing to do with the politics at hand. the list could go on. and this asinine behavior is running amuck through all political sides. the saddest thing to me isn’t all this nonsense. this is politics as usual, unfortunately. it’s the close mindedness of people.
in a discussion i had last night about community, we chatted about the need for open mindness. to be open minded and willing to listen to an opposing viewpoint is the unofficial definition of this word. from all sides, i saw a complete lack of this. i admire the passion to which people announced allegiance to their candidate. passion is wonderful. what i don’t appreciate is when i express my concern for the way government is, and that i voted for a candidate that i knew wouldn’t win, that i was chastised and mocked and told that i’d thrown my vote away. in a society that supposedly is ‘by the people, for the people,’ i have to believe that since i’m part of that people my voice needs to be heard. and in a democracy when voting speak much louder than my voice possibly could, i again, have to believe that it’s not only my right but my duty to vote how my heart and mind feels. if i don’t, if i settle for voting for who and what is merely the lesser of two evils, then in my opinion, i’ve settled. and that’s dangerous. i believe with every fiber of my being that this country is great, despite who i think should lead it. i did not vote for Obama. but he is our new president and i will respect him, he seems like a great individual, i will pray for him, and i sincerely wish him luck and hope he succeeds. and i will continue to crusade for what i think is right. it’s the same government that has allowed him to rise to this position and make history that allows me the same freedom to respectfully disagree and work to change what i feel is a broken system.
what i think is the funniest outcome of this election happened after the fact. i’ve never seen or heard so many gown adults sulk over something so petty as a sticker. it would seem that there was a significant shortage of the “I Voted” stickers this election. absentee voters didn’t get them, and many of the poling places ran out or simply didn’t have any. whether it was sticker discrimination for the absentee voters or poor planning at the poles, it left many of us sticker-less. the thought of getting that sticker somehow made sitting and having the listen to the barrage of political commercials worth it. the disappointment of receiving no sticker is spreading quickly. whether you were voting because it’s your civic duty or because you feel passionate about something, everyone, deep down inside, somewhere, also voted partially for want of a sticker.