Monday, November 5, 2012

'Twas the night before.....

Ah election eve. I still feel a little thrill tonight, although I didn't expect it. I'm over the commercials (we see a lot in the 'Burgh because PA is still considered a swing state), the attacks, the ridiculous Facebook posts and Twitter updates. In short-I'm over people warping their personalities for two candidates who, when it comes down to it, are just that. Two candidates. While the passion for politics and change in America is amazing, the vitriol with which it is proclaimed is not. It's disgusting. And frankly, I'll be happy when the election is over and we can move on-regardless of who wins. And that's the thing. Winning (not said in a a Charlie Sheen voice please note). If your candidate wins, are you a winner? I don't know. I do know this. There are far more losers than winners in elections. And those losers tend to be us, the American citizen. I don't mean that in the sense that we are losers as in something is inherently wrong with us and we have an L on our foreheads. We are losers because those we elect, for the most part, cannot put party and pride aside to do the job we elected them to do. So, bills that should be passed die in the House or Senate. Or, legislators bargain and wheel and deal and bills are passed that do far less than their actual intent. It's frustrating. These legislators (and President of course) are paid well, have decent perks-hey, at least they have health insurance-and get to be part of living history. Even if they're not re-elected, I wouldn't say they've lost so much as they just didn't win.

It's a weird situation-our political climate. For presidential elections, approximately nine states matter. I think it's time all states matter. We all matter. Or, at least, we should. People defend their views so heatedly they won't even listen to another opinion. It's as if we all need to feel one extreme or the other. What happened to just being people? When you get down to it, I think for the most part people are just people. We go to work, raise families, study in school, spend time with those we love and try to enjoy the moment. This political climate has divided us. Ironically, it has taken a storm to unite us. Tell me that's not the greatest metaphor and art imitating life-America is at it's most bitter and divided in a long time-and then we are brought to our knees and reminded again that nothing is certain, life is fragile, and red and blue are just colors, not ways to identify one's state or issues. People and lawmakers reached across party lines to help those in need and are still doing so. So, I have to wonder, will things change that much in the next four years? If we have divided government, probably not. But, maybe we can learn from this experience and work together. We're all we have when you get down to it.  So, I still feel a slight thrill tonight as a national presidential election is exciting. But, I know that tomorrow and the next day life will probably continue normally regardless of who wins. Sure, there will be changes here and there over the next four years. As an optimist, I remain hopeful the best is yet to come and that in four years from now things will be better for more and not just a few.  I just know that when I vote tomorrow, I will be doing something that people years before fought for so that someone like me, a female, would have a voice in shaping my country. I feel not only is it a legal right but it is a privilege. And one I'm proud to exercise.

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