Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ringing the bell

I missed my grandfather a lot yesterday. I miss him more today as I watch the returns.

I think that happens especially when adult responsibilities come up. For instance watching this election swing in a direction that honestly frightens me.

My grandfather was a politician for some of his life. He served on the ethics committee of the NH State Legislature as well. I can't really think of anyone better for such a job. He was a strong proponent of doing the right thing in all sectors of your life.

All day yesterday I thought of a picture of him. It's not an event I attended, I wasn't even born. My step-uncle told this story at Robbie's funeral. One year he took ORUncle to the town hall with him on election day. On election day Robbie's position was behind the ballot box. Apparently that box has a crank on it to enter the ballot and when you turn the crank a bell rings. ORUncle remembers standing beside Robbie and watching him greet each voter by name and ring the bell with their ballot.

That picture helped me to be hopeful all day yesterday. Except that the man who did that is from another era and he isn't alive any longer. Voting, and politics aren't quite so simple.

He was not a man who would scream and rage at the outcome of the election. He would want me to face the next challenge, to realize that despite this loss we should take the opportunity to become more involved in the politics of our country.

Me? I'm at the screaming and raging stage. I want to get on one of those get out the vote buses and head around to the houses of people who voted for Bush and yell at them at the top of my lungs. HOW? HOW CAN YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA? HOW CAN YOU FEEL SAFER?

The uncharitable person inside me asks these people who feel unsafe when was the last time someone flew a fucking plane into part of their home town? For me? It was just over 3 years ago and George Fucking Bush makes me feel far less safe. It is my considered opinion that anyone who is goddamned SANE would feel the same way.

I could go on about Supreme Court justices being appointed, about being a woman in a country run by a party that demeans and devalues them, about spending money that will no doubt be paid back with what should be my social security. But my arguments would be emotional and not well crafted. My plan of attack for survival in the next four years is completely unformulated. So, check back with me in a couple of days. After I've stopped crying.

And if you voted for Bush? It's probably best to stay away longer.

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