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6 November 2004, 00:00


It ain’t just for zealots anymore.

I did my part. I voted. And good god, it seemed finally, a lot more people other than us obssessive politicos were out waiting in line to do their constitutional obligation. And I was never one for obligation, particularly obligations that aren’t of a self serving or instantly gratifying nature. Didn’t wear the sticker, because I am protesting the fact that my vote was, basically a vote for voting and not really something that counted in the presidential electorial process. So I voted just to vote because I can.

I was suprised at the numbers of people in my area, and generally in my state that got out to vote. I voted in the EARLY in the morning, at the time I usually reserve to argue with the voices in my head whether it was worth it in life to get up to put on some pants to face the daytime. My contempt for all mankind was sublimated and I put on my lucky socks and headed on out to the polls, which were just a block from my house at Screaming Bratt Elementary, where in the daytime, hundreds of children of the corn are educated. These are the same kids that chuck crap in our yard and tease the dogs on their walk to school.

And the consensus from the early risers who stood in line with me, is that Kansas was dangerously close to voting 99% republican instead of 100%. I was suprised afterwards that Kansas went only 67% republican. My own count was there was three of us in my city that were for Kerry. Me and two others I saw sporting Kerry signs in their car windows. Of course the one coworker that had one of these signs in his window had the good sense of taking it down when he left his car, because of the maurading band of Bushites, that apparently will egg your car and stick potatoes in your tailpipe. Okay. We don’t have the maurading bands, but it was telling how we democrats will be wary about advertising our affiliations. Even in line at the school, I tried to appear very very republican, because you never know, you know?!

It was very enthusiastically right wing in my little part of the democracy. I felt as welcome as a veal saleman trapped in a PETA sock hop, being, you know, that most hideous of things, a liberal democrat. I have never felt as much rancor towards my political beliefs as I have the last 10 or 15 years. Even during the Clinton years, being liberal was seen as a very bad thing. Conservatives could say that they have had the same feeling but I think its not EXACTLY the same. I mean, they are the dominant party in power and the most ferverant in terms of being seen. Liberals, by most accounts are decidedly quiet and wishy washy about condemning other points of view, and cringe when we see other liberals use the same tactics as, say Bill O’reily or Rush Limbaugh, to cower an opponent. I’m a very Al Franken/Jon Stewart sort of democrat. I don’t see much that ain’t funny in my own party, much less the republicans, whereas sometimes I think being republican means you have to surgically have your sense of humor removed. And when they try to be funny, it’s usually a mean spirited funny.

I stood in line at about 6:30 a.m., usually a time populated only garbage men and perky morning people, with about a half a dozen elderly shut-ins who were either vehemently pro-Bush or disappointed that Goldwater didn’t run this year. I had the poor judgment of engaging one particularly angry old man in a conversation on Social Security, John Kerry and the republican party.

You can imagine how well this went.

When I pointed out that Dubya didn’t actually say how he was going to replace all the money that was going to be siphoned out of the existing system with all those private savings accounts, he had this angry look on his face. Possibly it was gas, but I hold out hope that it was something like contemplation and reflection. I also talked about Haliburton, and the war, which translated to the geriatic audience that I had as a Jane Fonda-like commentary on the troops. No, I don’t believe the troops were baby killers; no, I don’t believe we had the right to invade Iraq; yes, I believe we had the right to defend our country; yes, I can sleep at night knowing that I don’t support the war; no, not supporting the invasion of Iraq is equivalent to supporting terrorism; yes, I can believe in the war against terror, and not believe in the war against Iraq. And so on. I didn’t want to be pummeled to death in the hallway of an elementary school by a metal walker, so I politely smiled and kept my opinions fairly vague and garbled after that. Politics seems to bring out the ‘scary’ in people.

I voted. Even though I live in a red state. A state that has been republican for as long as Rush Limbaugh has liked doughnuts. And from my understanding, if by some miracle we have 49.9999% of the state voting for a democrat, all our electorial votes still go to the republican. I’m not sure, but I think this makes me invisible. An invisible minority. Makes me want to walk out into the street and whomp up on some people – I mean, since I’m invisible, this could only help in the success of this activity.

And I’m not sure, but I don’t think Bush likes liberals. I mean, I like conservatives, but I just don’t believe in what they stand for. I don’t believe that most conservatives are evil incarnate (except for Chaney). I think Bush just really has the big hate-on for liberals, and believe that most of the wicked things happening in this country can be attributed to liberalism, especially social liberalism.

And I am equally as convinced, that there are more liberals in American than just me and some hippies in Fresno, California, so I’m wondering if Bush knows he might be demonizing and disenfranchising a good deal of the American public when he lambasts liberalism.

It seems that the debate has turned into a mission of destruction. We are not opponents anymore, but enemies. I think I heard that from McCain, incidentally, who is a CONSERVATIVE and who I disagree with on most of the issues, but whom I respect and admire. Have we lost sight that we are all suppose to be on the same side? We are here to keep some semblance of a government we can stomach working, and to make it better for the guy next to us and the guy who comes after us.

I don’t know who is going to win. But I voted. And I voted because hope springs eternal. Believe it or not, I find politics to be an honorable ambition – I believe most politicians on the state level do it because they believe in public service. I believe in the honor of those who choose to brave it out and run for office.

Of course, I also believe that the United States Airforce have alien bodies in giant tupperware at Wright Patterson.

I voted even though I am starting to feel disengaged from my own government and an administration that has made liberal a bad word. I voted even thought I felt like the only chili bean in a bowl full of oatmeal. I voted even though I suspect that it doesn’t make a lick of difference.

Honestly, I didn’t vote for a president, I voted because I still have hope. Hope that it makes a difference.