Posted tagged ‘Election Day’

“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.”

November 6, 2012

Last night was cold, but this morning the sun has made an appearance making me think Mother Nature is feeling apologetic for the last few days and for the storm expected tomorrow. When I woke up, earlier than usual, the house was cold. The furnace, programmed for leisurely mornings, for sleeping-in mornings, hadn’t yet warmed the house. I put on my slippers and my sweatshirt and we all, the dog, cats and I, went downstairs, and I right away turn up the heat and put on the coffee. When I went outside to get the papers, the air felt brisk.

Voter turnout is always greater on a sunny day.

The first election which caught my attention was in 1960 when John F. Kennedy ran for president. He was a local boy, the senator from Massachusetts, so he was my candidate. I watched the debate. I remember how bad Nixon looked. I remember only one issue from that debate: the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. I think their names have a neat sound so they stuck in my brain all this time as did the drawn maps of their positions relative to China. I remember the wooden pointers both men used. Kennedy and Nixon, of course, disagreed as to their importance. I have no idea about those islands now.

I was proud to wear my Kennedy buttons and still have the three of them. One is of a smiling Kennedy with his name across the top, another just says Kennedy for President. My favorite is a huge white button which says, “If I were twenty-one, I’d vote for Kennedy.”

I remember, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” which was Barry Goldwater’s catch phrase. I thought its portent was scary. His bumper sticker, though, is still a favorite of mine: AuH20=1964. I wonder how many people were flummoxed by what they thought was math.

It seemed to take forever until I was old enough to vote, but, finally, the summer before my senior year in college I turned twenty-one. I voted for the first time in 1968. My choice was ever so easy. Never could I vote for Richard Nixon. Besides, I really did believe Hubert Humphrey would have made a good President.

“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”

November 2, 2010

It’s dismal. It rained during the night and the day is dark, damp and cold. Tonight will be in the 30’s, and it won’t get much better the rest of the week. I’m hoping for some sun later. I abide cold better when there is a bit of sun. It makes me feel a little optimistic even wearing layers.

It’s election day. Finally the obtrusive phone calls and obnoxious TV ads will end. The local news last night reported phone outages, some for several hours. It seems all those auto-ads swamped the system and shut it down. I believe differently. I think it was the intervention of a mighty hand, a sort of election day burning bush sending a warning.

I like to vote. It may be only one vote, but I believe I make a difference. I haven’t ever missed voting. It is, in my mind, the responsibility of all citizens to exercise their franchise. Some people rely on the argument there isn’t a candidate who deserves their vote as a defense for their absence at the polls. I don’t buy it. Local questions are on the ballot and walking behind the curtain just to check yes or no for those still counts.

My town still uses black pens for voting, no fancy machines here. Old ladies, always the same old ladies, check you in and check you out. They chit chat and ask me I’m doing while they look up my street to check off my name. It never takes me long to vote. When I walk in the booth, I already know which candidates and which questions deserve my yeses. This election is a tough one.

I bought a car, a red Camry. I’m picking it up this afternoon. I’ve never had a red car. All my others were blue or gray or black. When I saw this car, I fell in love even though I know red cars attract police officers holding ticket books, and I, on highways, am always a good candidate for a speeding ticket. That I haven’t ever had one is a miracle. I hope my luck will still hold.

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