Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The Morning After
A dirty wine glass and an empty wine bottle sat next to the couch this morning. Leftover Halloween candy wrappers littered the coffee table. A trail of clothes that, in other circumstances, might have indicated unbridled passion led to my bed. Stumbling into my bathroom early this morning, I nearly got tangled in my favorite gray sweater with its "I Voted" sticker. All in all, it was a far less traumatic evening than I had anticipated--though I'd have less of a candy hangover and might have hung up my clothes if Mitt Romney had made that phone call a little earlier.
California still has unlabeled GMO food and the death penalty, but the Three Strikes law makes a little more sense. And there'll be be more support for education. Gay people now have the right to marry in a couple more states, though in Minnesota that fight still needs to be fought--- but, despite the efforts of the Catholic Church, the state constitution there does not now limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman. So there's hope. Hope for the Human Rights Campaign. Hope for better health care. Hope for the economy. Hope in the face of climate change. Hope for tax reform, fair pay, better schools.
I'm pretty sure I looked right into hope's eyes when my mom and I went to the local elementary school to vote yesterday. As I waited for her to finish marking her ballot, a class of first-graders was ushered into the library/polling place. They maneuvered silently to the edge of the room and sat on the floor as their teacher spoke quietly to them in Spanish. One of the poll workers offered sample ballots and dozens of hands reached eagerly for them. There was a flurry of excitement then. "Dondé? Obama?" They turned the papers over looking for his name. "Aqui. Here." The children leaned into one another and pointed.
"La Senora," the teacher began as she pointed to my mom who was still working on her ballot. The teacher then took a sample ballot from one of the children and showed them the blank space that must be filled in to mark the ballot properly. She pointed at the top of the page and trailed her finger downward. "President, Senator, Congress Person," she said. When my mom finished she fed her ballot, first one page, then the other, into the machine. The children watched and then followed us out. A parade of hope.