A Crossroad: Prelude to Election Day

I have come to pride myself on having a blog where people can come to take take their mind off of everything and just have a laugh (I’ve always been a big subscriber to the theory that laughter is the best medicine). However, one of the things that has given me the most pleasure recently has been sharing my views on this presidential election. Over these long and arduous last few months of campaigning I have tried to keep things  relatively light. I have had my opinions but all in all I have tried not to shove rhetoric down anyone’s throat.

I have been in a bit of a stupor for the past few days. As this whole crazy drama comes to it’s climax tomorrow I find myself wrestling with a plethora of emotions.

I feel relieved. Relieved that it is drawing to a close. Relieved that we won’t have to hear much more of this bullshit that we’ve constantly been subjected to for what seems like forever now. Relieved that the constant bickering and arguing over this campaign and it’s issues will have run it’s course. There will be new bullshit to argue and bicker over, but at least it will be fresh.

I am anxious. Anxious to go and cast my vote. Anxious to be a part of history. Anxious to see who wins. Anxious to see if the democratic process is upheld and respected the way that it should be.

I am sad. Sad for all of the people who have not lived long enough to take part in this historic event, including Barack Obama’s grandmother.

I am grateful. Grateful to be alive and witnessing this great time. Grateful to be an American (despite all of my country’s flaws). Grateful to have learned my history and to have people in my life who have given me a sense of how much of an honor it is to cast my vote.

I am nervous. I am very nervous. Nervous as to whether or not Obama will win. I am nervous that if McCain is elected there is a very real chance that Sarah Palin could be president. Nervous about how people will react if he loses. Even more nervous about how people will react if this election is stolen from him. I am nervous of what will happen if he is elected. If he will be able to deliver. If he will be able to deal with the mess he has inherited.  I am nervous of what some radical people might try to do to him if he becomes our president.

I am afraid. Afraid of becoming too attached. Afraid to really believe that things will be better. Afraid of what the future holds.

I find myself at this crossroad not really knowing what to feel. I close my eyes and try to listen and things are going so fast that it’s hard to decipher anything. Then I ask myself this simple question; What do you want to feel? What is it that your heart reaches out for? When I ask myself this question the answer becomes quite clear. What I want need to feel, what my heart aches for is hope. Real, genuine hope. Hope untainted by doubt or cynicism. The type of hope that lives not in our minds, but in our hearts.

When I think about what I want to have have happen tomorrow, I want nothing more than to have my hope be validated. Nothing more than to feel like I am not powerless. That I am not a helpless bystander watching his country and his world spiral further and further into uncertainty and despair. Nothing more than to have some good news be on the front page for a change. When I was young I read stories about great men like Martin Luther King or Ghandi. I’ve been inspired by men like Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy. I have been greatly influenced by these men. I’ve always wondered what it must have felt like to be alive during their time. To witness the change they affected. To watch the fire they lit under people. To be filled with hope by their words. I now know what that feeling is. It is a feeling I have been reluctant to embrace, but nevertheless it is a feeling that has encompassed my entire being.

We live in a cynical, cynical world. I’d be hard pressed to tell someone that they don’t have a reason to be. The only reason I can give with certainty is that we need hope. We need to find the ability to allow ourselves to hope once again. Without hope all is lost.

When you go out to vote tomorrow I ask simply that you vote with your hearts as well as your minds. And please don’t be afraid to hope.

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57 comments

  1. I feel exactly the same…on every point!!It’s a bit like being a kid at Christmas, huh?  I plan to stay up late and watch CNN streaming live on my computer(I don’t have cable…screw you, economy!  ), to see all the votes come in.It’s also exciting for local races too!

  2. I was going to write something like t his but I figured why reinvent the wheel lol. Plus I had a long day and I’m tired so I guess your post sums up how I feel so I’ll rec it instead lol.

  3. @Rchick2006 – I’m especially excited because the last Presidential election was 2 months before my 18th birthday, so this is my first Presidential election I get to vote in!  As Dave said, we’re making history, and it feels great to do so with my first Presidential vote!!

  4. I genuinely understand where you are coming from. I lived in Florida during the first round of the Bush presidential term and I marched and rallied then wiht undying belief in my government. And I felt cheated. And I still feel cheated by my government and I am hoping for something. Hoping for hope. I’m so glad I got to vote and I voted early. But I would be willing to wait and vote again if I could. Every point you made… I feel.

  5. Thanks for the comment.  I am so glad I stopped by to read before I went to bed.  Fabulous post.  I feel the same way….and more nervous than I care to admit, too.  More than a little afraid.   He has to win!   I don’t expect to get very much sleep tomorrow night (or tonight, for that matter.  I plan on getting up real early to head out to the polls.)  Here’s to hope!!!!!!

  6. I couldn’t have said it better. I think I feel all of these things too, exactly as you described.And I have that added pressure of international colleagues who are watching this election even more closely than we are! I thought I might escape some of the political commentary and discussions by being in France for those 10 days prior to the election; but that is ALL they wanted to talk about in France! Even the news coverage had something about our election in every half hour. My TAXI driver asked about it when he found out where I was from!! The world is watching the USA today, hoping we return to the hope-filled ways they’ve always loved about us. Because, contrary to popular opinion here; other countries generally don’t hate us, no, not even the French! They wonder what the hell happened to the America they knew for the past 8 years; but they don’t hate us. They’re hoping we come back.  

  7. i agree, it IS like Christmas morning. you wait to see if you get the present you reallllllly wanted. and if you do, you hope it lives up to all the hype. emotions are high, today; let’s hope tomorrow brings a sense of peace to us all. 

  8. Isn’t it strange? I always wanted to live during the time of a Bobby Kennedy or MLK as well–someone who genuinely moves the masses and affects change. I hope Obama lives up to that whether he wins today or not. This was a great post!

  9. Great post. I voted and I feel awesome. Seeing everyone smiling after they cast their ballots was neat. I’m so glad it is coming to an end. When it is truly over, I’m definitely having a drink! 

  10. I am with you guys in spirit. Even as an “outsider” to this election, I am anxious because the outcome will have an enormous impact on my country. (Well, really, how could it not? … Maybe my cadre and I should have gone through with our plan to go up north and saw Alaska off the continent … Heh.)I will be checking the news tonight … and hoping!

  11. you’ve written some entertaining and enlightening posts, dave… too many to list.but i’ve gotta admit, this one — in my humble opinion — was not only your best, but perhaps the deepest.you damn near brought tears to these eyes.::slaps face and grabs shirt and tells himself to ‘get it together man’::stellar blog entry, bro…

  12. ABD here Dave. I am feeling the same way here. Not certain if I will feel disappointed if Obama loses, or just down-right disgusted. Not to mention being associated with a losing candidate, which I have had enough of from 4 years ago! I hate to even get my hopes up because I have this little (growing rapidly) feeling that the GOP will pull some kind of stunt where they steal the election just like W did in 2000. I am anxious to see America get the change we so deserve; I am hopeful that we can all work together and get America back on track; but I will be very releived to know that it is just over as well. Hang in there friend – we will finally have what we have been needing soon.  

  13. As my best friend in Ohio said, “I’m terrified of November 5th. No matter what, there will be rioters….and if McCain is elected, well, I just don’t know what I could be capable of.”

  14. Beautifully put.  I remember watching Kennedy’s funeral, King’s funeral, the news about Bobby.  I recall the Watts riots, Muhammed Ali when he was plain old Cassius Clay.  Freedom Riders.  More, much more.  I’m as filled with hope now as you are.  And trepidation.  But you know what?  Whatever happens, it’s a new era forever.  This could never have happened 25 years ago.

  15. This is great. I share some of the same sentiments. The ball is rolling now, lets see how things go. I’ve heard an awful lot about seemingly tampered with voting machines and such…. I too hope the Democratic process is upheld and respected. 

  16. Oh yes, Dave, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. I got early this morning, saw my daughter off to school and promptly to cast my precious vote! Only a few minutes past 8 am and I signed my name on number 169! There were three different lines, separated according to beginning letter of the last name, so I can only imagine almost six  hundred people had already been there ahead of me, a little more than one hour since the polls opened! How incredibly wonderful. If only people would/could be this interested in casting their vote ALL the time and realize what a privilege is TRULY is….. Oooooooooooooooo I just can’t wait to see if Santa is bringing me presents~~or lumps of coal…..Incredible post Dave. Thank you.

  17. Although I am not going Obama, I respect your thoughts and oppinions and its really an awesome site to see so many people taking interest in this election!! America is a great place that allows all of us to vote who we want in office.I kind of wish the Republicans and the Democrats could get together and just forge ahead as one instead of the two sides thing. Compromise on certain issues and just work towards a better country. But I dont think that will happen.  They are too corrupted in Washington.As far as Obama winning, well I dont agree with some of his Ideals. I feel that he needs a little more time and that we need to know him a little better. But he’ll be the first Black President and that in itself is awesome. I just hope that if he does become president that he does right by the people and doesn’t go back on what he said he is going to do. I hope to God almighty that he really isn’t as far left as everyone says and that he isnt borderline Socialist. So I guess you are right…hope is a big thing for this election.Anyways take care, nice post!

  18. @ISLYMORE – Keep pressing forward I guess. Sometimes it’s all about perspective. Change doesn’t come easy.@beli_grrl – I wish I could just sleep till a winner is announced.@MlleRobillard – Well I am on 2 hours sleep and ready for this to be done. Please don’t let go of my hand. I might tip over.@Rveblade – Yeah I got my eye on a Wii.@storyslut – @Pawleeen – @CallMeQuell – @weedorwildflower – @SunnyMitsu – @SuperSafe68 – Thank you so much for reading. I am glad you liked it.@Monique – Here’s to hoping I get to take a short nap tonight after work. @Shirlann – It’s so funny because I was just having that conversation with a few different poeple this week. How foreigners don’t hate America, but the American government. The whole world needs us to get back on track. There is just so much wrong thats need to be made right.

  19. @Kalligenia – Your positive energy is still much appreciated C. Also your knowledge of Canada will come in handy just in case things go horribly wrong.@BarelyJen – I am gonna try and stop by later tonight. Hope to see you there.@Krissy_Cole – So do I. I really hope that hecomes through.@TiRocKiinPiinK – Yeah seeing all those people leaving excited and happy was very nice. I felt more a part of a community today then I have in a very long time.@CanadianBroad – Alaska is like a huge pimple sticking out of Canada’s forehead. Go squeeze that pimple.@kellychicky – You can chill here as long as you want.@five11nation – Thanks so much dude. I was stuck for a while yesterday trying to find the words. I really wanted you guys to feel what I was feeling. I am so glad that you were feeling me on it.

  20. @Shirlann – Re:ABD – I am not even allowing myself to think about 2000 and 2004 right now. It’s hard not to think about it, but I am trying real hard to keep a positive outlook. Thing can only stay in the shitter for so long.@MaddisLongshore – Yeah it’s hard to think about what might go down. This is a very delicate time.@ihaveanalibi – It’s all those funerals that you speak of that make me especially nervous. Still I am so excited.@AlterEgo909 – Try not to think about it. Just have faith that things will work out.@tnalittlebitt – Yeah it was truly a remarkable site. Young, old, white, black, they were all out in full force. I think people wish they could have a do over for 2004. They are determined not to waste this one.@Still_groovy – Thanks for reading. I am happy you feel me on this.@Wildangel78 – I appreciate the fact that you read more into this post than just who I am voting for. It really is about much more than that. @meriibunny – I hope I am. I really do.@shuddertothink – And comments like that make me really enjoy writing.

  21. That song is so beautiful. I hear Cooke was really emotional singing that song. You get a rec just for that song. I’m relieved this is almost over, too.

  22. Hope is not found in any man… certainly  not any presidential candidate.Hope is found in Jesus Christ alone.God bless you, friend.

  23. Funny thing is, if a implicitly corrupt, politically impish, fiscally moderate, internationally militant man like McCain gets elected, a lot of people will lose hope, and if a fiscally social, internationally pussyfooted, scientifically eugenic, religiously racist guy like Obama gets elected, a lot of people are going to lose hope. All of that would be a retarded thing to have or lose hope over. Politics will never save your soul, and the government will never save society. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. If politics makes you hateful, then rethink your politics.Government is a hoax, everyone. Just go be nice to people.

  24. Great Post.. I feel the same way. And if I feel too excited for words, I can’t imagine how the candidates feel… I was going to write about that, and then lost time.I’m glad someone did.. 🙂

  25. I’m very anxious. If this is a strange political Christmas then I’m gonna have to take two beta-blockers before bedtime tonight.Beautiful post, Dave. Once again, you seem to reach inside our heads and hearts and slap us in the face with how we really feel. I always love reading your blog entries. I send hugs to help you stay strong through the night. I have my stuffed monkey to squeeze for my anxiety.

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