Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Alea iacta est.

TODAY I VOTED.  (We have early voting here in Tennessee.)

You want to know my favorite part about presidential elections?  Every four years, the people who pay the closest attention to politics - the people who conscientiously devote intellectual capacity to understanding the dynamics of the American political scene - stop being cynics and dare to dream a little about the future.

You want to know my least favorite part about presidential elections?  Every four years, the people who pay the least attention to politics - the people who have little to no interest in what happens in Washington - suddenly have an opinion on everything and become hopelessly cynical.

You want to know the best part about the U.S. system of democracy?  No matter which category you fall into, your vote counts exactly the same as everyone else's.  Spare me the arguments about swing states and electoral colleges; that's cynicism.  Your vote counts the same as everyone else's.

It is so hard sometimes not to get weighed down by the interminable mess that is humanity.  We live in a world where grown men shoot down 15-year-old girls on school buses, and where people place more importance on the way light is emitted from a lightbulb than on ensuring the planet is habitable for future generations.

But beyond all that, I can't help but feel, as an American citizen, that I have been privileged with amazing, incredible good fortune to be living in the greatest country on Earth during one the richest and most exciting times in its history.  Out of all the people who have ever lived, out of all the times that have come before ours and will come after ours, what unimaginable luck that I wound up right here, right now.  

So for Christ's sake, if you live in this country, take advantage of it.  Because it is your right, and because it's a right that people have died for in the past and are still dying for today, please make your voice heard:

(Unless you're a Republican, in which case, if you don't vote, whatevs.  HAHA, just kidding.  Except not really.  But sort of.)


  1. Haha! Love the post script : ) I think I'm going to vote on Friday at the library before storytime. For some reason I have this recurring nightmare that the election has come and gone and I didn't I'm going to actually vote early this year!

    Maybe all of the women and racial minorities in Texas will come out and stand up to being treated like second class citizens in this state and vote in enormous numbers!! I can dream, can't I?

    - Meg

    1. YAY, I hope you get to vote today!! :D :D :D

      And yes, you can dream! My jaw literally dropped when I saw a map that had Tennessee as a light red because Romney’s lead was within the margin of error (!!). But when I dug deeper, it seemed that “within the margin of error” still meant that Romney is totally going to win Tennessee…but nonetheless! I have never felt such pride for this state as a whole upon seeing that light red! If it can happen here, it can happen ANYWHERE.

  2. oh goodness, I really need to steer clear of anything political with the americans. There is worry about a birth certificate??? seriously??? I mean, if the rule is that only a born american can become president than sure someone would've checked into that long ago - when it was decided he would race for president.

    And his college degrees and all that? seriously??? Trump should pay that for Mittens to show his birth certificate - just to make sure you know. O.o - and when he is at it giving his own tax returns and off shore bank accounts so he
    doesn't have to pay his taxes.

    I cross fingers that Obama will win this election. Mittens won't be good for anyone on this planet.
    Scratch that ... for anyone that is neither rich or into oil and destroying our planet by all means.

    Annie Sasha

    1. Ah, see, Sasha, you are using “logic” and “rational thinking” when talking about the President’s birth certificate, etc! And why would anyone use logic and rational thinking when they could be hysterical and hypocritical and just make shit up?! :)

      Mittens would probably be damn near the worst thing that has ever happened to this country, but I really do think Obama is going to win. (Despite the media narrative, the polls are actually pretty decisively, although narrowly, in Obama’s favor.)

      That said, should the worst happen, this country will survive. In 2004, I really thought it was the end of the world when Bush was re-elected. But we’re still standing! As much coverage as the Donald Trumps of the world get, people like him really are in the minority here. Most people think he’s a joke, and that the conspiracy theories he helps spin are jokes, and for that reason, I have still confidence that the majority will make the right decision on Election Day. :)

  3. Greatest country on Earth? Really?

    Sorry for the scepticism. It's just... Really?! I mean, after all, you have all those republicans walking around in public in broad daylight, and that just can't be healthy. Not that I'm saying that my country is flawless or anything. The opposite actually, especially with the government we have now. You've got to cross your fingers for us in the coming election (OK, so it's another 2 years until then), but there's got to be a change. These guys are butchering our social security system and have NO concept of sustainable development :-(

    Actually I wonder, what would be the greatest country on Earth? I can't think of a single one that would really stand out in all those aspects that I would think merit for that title - like environmental policies, gender and ethnic equality, zero to low income divide, equal and public health care and education system. No, I'd say we're all doomed...

    But YAY that you voted :-) And for the right guy!! I'm holding thumbs and crossing fingers that he'll get another 4 years to make people see sense. (I'm working on the back up plan though!)

    1. Hahaha!! It crossed my mind that I might be opening up a can of worms with the “greatest country on Earth” line (especially considering I think probably more non-Americans than Americans read this blog!).

      It appears that during the Olympics and election cycles, my patriotism comes out in full force. :) We do have a hell of a lot of problems, and we are very dysfunctional in a lot of ways, but we also still forge the way, for better or for worse, for much of the world, and I genuinely do feel lucky that I was born when/where I was. "Greatest" doesn't necessarily mean "perfect," though. Not by any stretch... I'll start sending my positive thoughts to your country for the next election! And two years from now, maybe we'll even get some coverage of it over here and I can follow along...

      The backup plan!! CLEARLY world domination is the only obvious way to solve all the issues we’ve got going on here… (As I have always said, if the world would just let us be in charge, Malin, it would suddenly be so much more awesome…) We should probably add a contingency plan for making sure that all the new Democrats are noble individuals. Take here in Tennessee, for example. The Democrat running for Senate is actually terrible in comparison to the Republican. (Which is why I voted for the Green Party candidate. ;)) And there are old-school Republicans who are disgusted with their party and I feel their dignity in the face of overwhelming idiocy should be rewarded…

      It could get complicated, yes. So maybe you were right in thinking we should practice evil (but really good) laughs. :D

    2. hmmm I wonder where you are coming from Malin?!

      yep, becks, I am a very rational and logic person for the most parts of life. is there any other way to survive ? o.0 I mean mankinds stupidty and cruelty and all that??? Probably not!
      But - joking aside - I wished they would teach common sense at school, and how to identify exactly that.

      And world domination is already in the making - made by me. Ooops now you better don't tell anyone I am german O.O that could go well wrong x)

      Still crossing fingers for Obama. What I read last, it seems to be close to a draw with each other dancing around a 2%-puddle. Hope each and everyone with some sense and at least a little understanding of the bigger picture will move their ass and vote for Obama.

      Next on my list: Gonna marry an american soldier ... I need to start from scratch to rally soldiers for world domination *ggg*

      Annie Sasha

  4. yes, here's another reason!

  5. It will be VERY INTERESTING to see how (if) this huge storm affects things. It’s crazy to have a news story this big dominating the coverage so close to the election.

    If you’re in the path of the storm, STAY SAFE!!!

    And okay, JOSS WHEDON IS MY HERO. How much do I love that that was put up yesterday and has already gone crazy-viral?! “Zomney” is made of awesome!!

  6. that's a cool video ... and I find actually applicable to current european (speak german) legislation too.

    i cross my fingers for obama anyhow. so far in my book he hasn't done much wrong, whilst mittens already gets it all wrong during election time.
    but by all means I can honestly say - for all that I have seen - and all that is going on on my side of the pond... obama is the first politician i actually have a feeling like looking up to and respect

    Annie Sasha

  7. Yeah, that storm seems scary :-(

    And Annie Sasha, I'm from (the south of) Sweden, so we're actually pretty close :-)

  8. For the title and post-script alone, this post is GENIUS, Becky! :)

    And, Malin, that Joss Whedon video is my new favorite thing... I may have just offended all of my conservative-leaning friends and family by posting it on Facebook, but it was so worth it!

    "The 1% will no longer be the very rich; it will be the very fast."

    1. Kathryn!!! :D AWESOME, I'm going to head to Facebook next and give you some props for helping spread the word (I can't BELIEVE the number of hits that thing has gotten already!). Only Joss!!

      And only SIX DAYS NOW. I'm starting to freak a little...yes..."freak" is the right word for what's happening to me mentally...ack!!!!

    2. I know, haha! Pure brilliance. Joss is AWESOME!

      Wow, six days. It is a bit nerve wrecking. And not just a bit either...

  9. There was some news coverage about "sandy" going today and in the following guessing on the effects it might have on the voting... and in the course of this some interviews with some (black) people living in anacostia/washington d.c. about how Obama did during is legislation period.

    And I can't put it all back together, but one can tell that they put him up on this thrown and thought he is going to solve all their problems in 4 yrs.

    One even said that he was in prison when obama became president and that was when he thought: now there is no excuse anymore as a black person to fail. there is no destiny of crime and prison inherited. and like that's all out of the window as (many/most (don't remember the exact words)) think he failed as a black president to help the black.

    and there also was one of his speaches where he said that everybody needs to get off their asses and stop complaining ...
    one guy said to that: it was his campaing of "yes we can" and now it's all: i do the best i can - what a bullshit.

    That is when a song from 30 seconds to mars comes in handy:

    A warning to the prophet, the liar, the honest
    This is war
    To the leader, the pariah, the victim, the messiah
    This is war

    One can only hope that everybody out there wakes up - but one thing is for sure: if you don't vote, don't complain for what you get. And if you vote for someone who says "i don't care for half of my countries people" that is just as much a muzzle.

    geeeez did anyone really think obama could fix the country and everybodies - literally - lifes???? How could he even???

    How can he fix someones life that the person himself thru away by becoming a criminal, for instance? (Yep I have a very hard point of view here.)

    I am not even american, but I can't wait for the results. Funnily enough I am more drawn into that than in my own countries election times. Problem over here is, there is no real choice. We have more parties, but they are all pretty much the same. And they all make big promises which are forgotten the time voting boxes close.

    @Malin: oh yes, that is rather close. I didn't even hear that there are (bad) changes in the swedish social system? o.0 Down here the scandinavic social systems are a "role model" as to how good it could work for everyone. The german system is rotten.

    Annie Sasha

    1. 30 seconds to mars?! Oh my, we're close literary and mentally, I LOVE 30STM!!!

      And yes, that's what our politicians wants everyone to believe, that we are the role models with the great system. In fact, it used to be great, but it's falling apart by the days (or so it feels). People who are unable to work are refused social security, fees for health care have been increased, unemployment substitution has been lowered by law, 1 in 7 children in Sweden live in poverty (in some areas that figure is MUCH higher) and so on. And what do the government do? Lower the taxes for meals bought at resturants. Like that's gonna help anyone, except the people who already do not have a problem with dining out. This government has increased the income divide and sent more people to poverty that any other government in modern history, and only has benefited those who already could support themselves at the expence of the less furtunate. It's a disgrace.

      Also, since the last election we have a racist party in our parliament. And I won't even start about them cause it makes me too depressed - or more accurately, that people actually voted for them. What is wrong with humanity? Have we not been down this road before, have we learned nothing?! *deep sigh*

  10. uff, sorry for the blog-post O.O

  11. can't wait for the results.

    and to be honest: i like the us election times much better than ours. they are so boring. and i have the feeling as if you can tell apart what you voting for. here in germany it's all the same: the same promises, the same lies, the same yaddayadda

    crossing fingers for a great obama win.

    Annie Sasha

    1. There are a lot of people here who would say there isn't any difference between Obama and Romney, but I honestly can't think of an election in recent times in which there were MORE differences between two candidates! It's definitely been a soap opera (although not quite as good as the soap opera of the 2008 election...but still pretty entertaining).

      In 36 hours or so, we should (hopefully) have a winner (!!). Tomorrow is going to be a nerve-wracking day!!