Eight years ago, things were very different for me and my family, as I imagine they were different for you and yours. We were living in an apartment complex over in the northwest part of town (a part of town I often wish we still lived in, though not in the apartment, thankyouverymuch). We had actually moved to our third and final apartment in that complex just days before (in fact, if I recall correctly, we hadn’t finished the moving process entirely just yet), and it was a lot larger and nicer than our previous apartment. Harry’s first birthday was rapidly approaching and we were planning a big bash with lots of out-of-town family to take place that weekend at the clubhouse. I was working at the apartment complex, actually, leasing out apartments.
I didn’t work on Tuesdays since they and Mondays were “weekends” for me. So I had Harry at home with me when I went to vote at a nearby elementary school. I remember him in his stroller as I pushed him over to the booth, my sample ballot in hand. It was a rainy, grey day and I didn’t doubt for an instant that Al Gore would be our next president. I was probably (probably?) a little naive. There wasn’t anything to it. No way would people want BUSH to be president. Pfft. Yeah. I was DEFINITELY naive.
I grew up in California, after all. My blood just defaults to Democrat. And while not everyone I knew growing up were Democrats, liberalism was just a way of life in California. Particularly social liberalism. So I was surrounded by this way of viewing the world from a very young age and as I’ve grown up, I’ve often been surprised that not everyone thinks this way. Remember what I said about naive?
Waking up on the day after election day in 2004 was a harsh reminder. I couldn’t believe that the election was still so close. Still, I expected Gore would triumph in the end. When he didn’t… well… I had a hard time understanding how that was even possible. But, Bush was our president and he probably couldn’t screw up the country THAT bad, right?
We all know the rest of that story, don’t we? With our economic system in shambles, our troops mired in a war that we shouldn’t have had to fight in the first place and the disease of fear running rampant like it never has before, I think it’s safe to say that Bush did in fact screw up our country.
Let’s not make that same mistake again, okay America? Please?
I know the lines may be long today, and there might be some last minute tactics to stall, influence or just flat our steal your vote, but you have to VOTE. Get out there and do it for your country. Because I still have faith in our country to heal itself. After all, isn’t it when we’re down that we show the depths of our strength?
I don’t know if I can stand the waiting today. Tonight, Kile and I plan to put away our laptops and cell phones and turn on a mindless movie of some sort. Anything to keep us distracted. Then, about midnight, we’ll dare to turn on the news. And see if we have a leader. And hopefully, it’ll be the guy we voted for. We have plenty of alcohol, either way. We’ll either be celebrating or mourning. But there WILL be booze.
Now that’s looking on the bright side!