I made some FB statuses recording my reaction to the elections tonight. I thought some of you might be interesting.
First: today was productive and pretty much non-political. I did two medical appointments and then spent the afternoon in the library working on my CV, academic bio, and other documents I’ll need for a workshop I’m going to tomorrow on how to network as an academic professional in the internet age. Among other things, we’ll be putting together a professional website using WordPress. Which means I need to have some basic content ready for it. I’d already voted a few days before, but I’d planned to go to a post-election eucharist in Harlem. I never made it, though.
I got to do some rather unexpected poll-volunteering tonight. I was qualified as a volunteer but they originally didn’t need my help – then had a volunteer cancel (sick kid) so I got called up from the bullpen. It was a thoroughly unexciting three hours looking up addresses on a roster and directing voters to the proper sign-in table to get their ballots. Our precinct had a decent clip – long lines but not outside the door, and we tended to get people through the process in under an hour. Could have been better, but also could have been a lot worse.
Speaking of worse, I’m watching NBC and they’re saying with about 80% of the precincts reporting Florida is *seriously* neck-and-neck. As in, a 193-vote difference. If Romney wins off of Floridians being unable to run a decent election, I do believe I may cry. Not because Romney would be president, but because it’s so retro in all the worst ways, and would pretty well shoot whatever faith I have in American democracy in the head. And I don’t think I’d be alone. :-S
Once I got back home from the precinct, I found election results on NBC. I’d previously sworn I wasn’t going to follow these as they rolled in, but my volunteering put me in the frame of mind that made me want to follow along. Anyway, parts o it were actually pretty amusing:
For all the high drama of elections, it’s the little things that get me. Case in point: the college kid in the crowd of Iowans behind a commentator on MSNBC, who insisted on making fishy faces while the commentator was speaking, and ended it all by holding a plate with the message “Hi, Emma!!” for the camera. None of the journalists really knew what to do – you can’t cut away because of a college kid, but you also can’t really stop him. That’s a metaphor for something, but I’m just finding the whole scene entirely too amusing to think it through and find out.
And finally, I posted this message to encourage my more conservative friends:
I know I have some conservative friends reading this. I also know how hard it is when you worked very hard for something politically, really have your hopes set on it, and it doesn’t happen. Particularly when so many people are celebrating all around you, and many poking fun at you in the process. I can’t help remembering how I felt after NC voted to make gay marriages unconstitutional not too long ago. I’ve been there, and it just stinks.
I’ll be thinking about you these next few days. Try to remember that politics is complicated, and that you’ll have your shot at another go in four years. Until then, I’d invite you all to do what you can to make America a better place. Whether that’s building stronger communities (the polis-building I mentioned earlier), working on some issue that’s particularly important to you, or –a personal favorite– work on elect reform so we actually have a real choice to make in four years. I’d welcome allies on any of that vital work, whatever your political vantage point.
Mainly, though, I’m feeling for you. Hobbits and huggles, anyone?
A good night to all! Catch you on the flip side.