So, I’m tired, too lazy to write a real post — especially since I haven’t even read the friggen news today — and yet still have too many thoughts floating around in my head. Therefore, I am going to share those scattered and probably pointless thoughts on the primary. Lucky you.
In no hugely particular order:
Voting is anti-climactic. This may be because I don’t have anyone to vote with. The only person I know in my district who I would be happy to vote with is my husband. Unfortunately, he doesn’t love America enough to be able to vote (eh, some citizenship thing) and is reduced to saying to me as I walk out the door “if you don’t vote for Obama, I’ll kick your ass,” while I tell him that I’ll vote for Mike Gravel just to spite him. (um, no, I didn’t)
The bastards didn’t even give me a sticker. I didn’t get one in 2006, either. Where is my fucking sticker? How can I feel righteous and superior to everyone else if I don’t have an ugly cheap sticky thing hanging off of my lapel?
I witnessed no vote stealing or disenfranchisement. In fact, things were pretty dead. The worst I came across was as I entered, an obviously Democratic voter was talking to a Republican volunteer and said “I feel like the odd one out,” and the volunteer joked “maybe its time to switch parties.” Which I thought was inappropriate. But it’s also a very small town, and I’m about 80% sure that the two knew each other. Which still makes it inappropriate but hardly something to call a voting hotline about.
But here is something that did bother me. When you went in, the voting booths were not split up between Republican and Democrat (if they were, the Dem side would probably get a dull pencil and a scrap of paper), nor were the check-in tables. In the very small room in the very small town, they asked you which party you were with and you had to give your answer out loud. This didn’t bother me because I couldn’t care less if someone knows which party I’m registered with. I don’t actually consider myself a Democrat (if that ever happens, the Dems have either become a different party or someone needs to shoot me). But I also sure as hell don’t want anyone thinking that I’m a Republican. I didn’t mind being the odd one out, and in fact felt quite proud and relieved that I have a brain in my head. But I still had to wonder about a person who did mind. Could that keep someone from voting? The thing is, everyone has the right to a secret ballot and accepts that what you do in the voting booth is their own business. In an actual election. Yeah, asking what party you’re with doesn’t say who you’re voting for, but it could serve as a kind of outing. Again, especially in a small town. What do you think? And how does your district do it? Are there better ways? Do you think that this is a legitimate concern?
A silly musing: how is the order of the candidates on the ballot decided? Because In NY, Clinton’s name is right at the top, and with the lever voting machines, pretty much at eye level. Obama’s name was down at my rib cage crowded by all of the other candidates who are no longer in the race but still on the ballot. It actually took me a good 10 to 15 seconds to find his name. That’s not long, but here’s the thing: do you think that gives Clinton an advantage? You know, like how they put Coke at eye level in the store so that you’re more likely to buy it; that works. Just saying.
A largely pointless quandary: my dad didn’t vote. I expected him to, and asked if he did, and he shook his head and said “is there supposed to be a candidate that I like?” Now, first thoughts label this good. I think I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that I do not agree on . . . anything . . . with my dad when it comes to politics, and that he is a lifelong Republican. In 2004, he actually considered not voting for the first time. In the end, he apparently became frightened by Kerry’s East Coat Liberal ways (*scoffs*), but he was so unhappy with Bush that he considered sitting it out. Again, this says that progress is being made. Though I still disagree with him on everything, it seems that even he is starting to realize what a sad, pathetic, incompetent bunch the Republicans have become. And yet, I’m still left with the question: should I be happy that my dad no longer feels strongly Republican enough to vote in the primaries, or sad that the one and only other voter in my family is giving up on the political process? My mom isn’t coming around, and you couldn’t get my 20-year-old brother to act like he cares if you threatened to set his hair on fire. My dad and I may have been at each other’s throats over everything (we don’t talk politics anymore), but voting was the one thing that we both believed in.
But hey, maybe the anticipation weariness is making me stupidly nostalgic.
I stand by my previous assertion that I cannot wait until I never have to see or hear Ron Paul’s racist, misogynist, xenophobic, delusional name ever again. No more signs along the highway, or banners hanging from the overpass? No more angry letters to magazines or comments on blogs because someone dared to point out that the guy is severely fucked in the head? Ah. That will be the day. But I don’t really expect him to concede until the very last delegate is counted.
I can’t promise that this will be the last useless Super Tuesday post for the evening, nor can I promise that any others will be written 100% sober. Though I do promise that if I can no longer type coherently, I’ll spare you. Because that’s just the kind of thoughtful person I am.