Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 - 5 comments

And the Beat Goes On

Today is Election Day. Thank God! I thought it would never come. I have cast my ballot. I have done my part, and it is out of my hands. The process could not have been smoother. I arrived at my polling place mid-morning, and while people were constantly going in and out, there was no waiting. I got to use my computerized ballot, and I thought it was really cool. I was always mystified why in these days of computerized innovations that we were using technology from the 1960’s or earlier. It may not be George Jetson yet, but at least out here in the Wilds of West Texas, we have arrived in the modern age … or is that post-modern? How did we get to a place where “modern” no longer means “current?” But I digress.

Soon, the election will be over … the votes will be counted … The next President of the United States will be declared, and we will all have to go on. Write this down on your calendar. I actually agree with something said by Alec Baldwin. Within the last couple of weeks, he was on with David Letterman, and he said that whoever becomes the next president must find a way to bring this country back together. He is right. This country is very fractured, and it must heal. This is very different from what he said in 2000 when he said that he would leave the country if George W. Bush became the president. After the election, I wondered why he was still here.

Regardless of who wins, we will still be the United States of America. We have two candidates who have been described as the personification of evil by the opposing party. What we really have are two people who have gone through one of the greatest tests of endurance imaginable.

Some have described this as the nastiest presidential campaign in U.S. history. I think that is far from true. Mudslinging has a long and undistinguished history in American politics. After the election of 1796, John Adams had his chief rival, Thomas Jefferson, as his vice-president. We think that the campaigns start early now? Jefferson started his 1800 election campaign as soon as the 1796 results were announced, never missing an opportunity to undermine Adams and his administration.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson found himself in the midst of a campaign where mudslinging was record levels. His wife also got splattered. My sources say that most of the allegations were true, but Jackson could never forgive the people who attacked his wife. Tragically, she died that year, adding to the trauma.

However, Abraham Lincoln in the election of 1860 has to be the winner of the most contentious election in U.S. history. He was not even on the ballot in ten states, and he only won 40% of the popular vote (though he had more than enough for the electoral college). His election was the tipping point, which caused Southern states to begin seceding from the Union, ultimately resulting in the Civil War (or The Recent Unpleasantness, depending on where in the U.S. you now reside). Thank God, we are not living in those times, but we don’t remember that. We are caught up in the emotion of the here and now.

No doubt, there has been a lot of enthusiasm during this election season. It is being predicted that there will be a record-breaking turn out. (Hopefully, that will equate to a record-breaking percentage of the eligible population participating.) That can only happen if people are interested in the outcome. Apathy about voting can be caused by many things. One can be that they think that their vote won’t count, but another is that they are content in their lives and don’t think that the outcome will have a significant impact on their lives. (The Fat and Happy Syndrome)

Well, this season is very different. The country is in turmoil both at home and abroad, and we have two candidates with very different philosophies on how to govern. I’m not detecting much apathy out there. However, once that choice is made, we must all move forward together. We can’t all move away. Canadians are nice and all, but hospitality can only be pushed so far. And Switzerland has very restrictive naturalization requirements, not to mention, it's small. We have to find a way to make it work here.

The first test of our new president will be to bring the whole country along with him. It is what separates a politician from a statesman. God Bless him no matter who he is!


ahhh yes a statesman! you just reminded me of a good quote - I have to find it
I linked you :)

oh - and I saw the Baldwin interview too!!
he was very calm and moderate
I do love when he called Palin 'Bible Spice'
sorry ;)

"I do love when he called Palin 'Bible Spice'."

So that's where you got that line. I must have missed that part. LOLOL And thanks for the linkage. :)

I voted. I did my part. It is out of my hands.

I hope that we move FORWARD after the election. Seems that so many people and businesses just hung in limbo claiming they wouldn't make any business decisions or purchases til after the election.

Well it is OVER already.

I agree that our country needs healing.

Yes Jennifer, it's OVER! Finally, and without months of political wrangling and protests and court battles. Yay! :)

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