Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

As I type this, the outcome is unknown. I'm glued to the tv and will continue to be so until a winner is declared or I fall over, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, this day has given me a lot of things to think about. Among them:

Tim Russert. I'm sorry he's missed this election, I hope he's watching it from wherever he is, and I really miss his genuine passion and exuberance in following and reporting the political process.

Uncle Walter. Today is Walter Cronkite's 92nd birthday. He covered the elections of my youth, as well as everything that mattered in my formative years. Happy Birthday to someone who was at one time the "most trusted man in America" in a time when some journalists actually earned and merited that kind of trust.

Nastiness. Living in a "swing state" our snail mail and voice mail have been barraged with absolutely scurrilous and clearly untruthful messages. This stuff must work or they wouldn't spend money on it, but I hate what that says about us.

21st century marketing techniques employed by the Obama campaign. We in the business world should take note.

Hope. Not as a political slogan, but as a fervent wish that those who emerge as our leaders have the smarts, the will, the tenacity and the persuasive power to work together and confront the difficult issues ahead. I hope we can talk through our differences and look for common ground to move forward. There's too much to do to continue to spend energy in kneejerk partisan sniping.

History in the making. It's historic whichever way it goes... but the very idea that an African American man is knocking on the White House door is particularly stunning for me to contemplate, given that it wasn't so long ago that African Americans were not even permitted to cast a ballot. One more step forward. Many more to go.

And mostly, community. I have complained about my state not offering early voting, and I think it's ridiculous that we continue to hold elections on Tuesday - a decision first determined in the agrarian era to be convenient for farmers bringing their crops to town. But when I got in line at 6 a.m. this morning, and emerged a little over an hour later having accomplished my civic duty, I felt like I'd contributed to something important, and part of that was the collective experience of the voting process. There's so little we do together any more, at least in our physical presence, that I think maybe Election Day is worth keeping as a day to literally stand up (even if it's in a long line) and be counted.


Sarah said...

Awww. I love this. Especially your definition of hope. Lovely writing! Can't wait to dish with you tomorrow!

Bluestem said...

AMEN to every word, every thought, every reflection in this entry!