Thursday, November 15, 2012

After the natural disaster, a man-made one: Election 2012

I spent this electoral season in our nation's lovely capital - epicenter for the man-made disaster that has become our electoral process. Luckily, I don't own a TV, so I was relatively sheltered from the various attack ads trying to convince undecided voters which way to swing.

That does not mean, however, that I was sheltered from the campaigning.

I have several good friends on both sides of the aisle who are die-hards...subsequently, my Facebook feed looked something like this in the days prior to November 6:

"Knocking on doors in the good ole District Blah Blah! Let's turn it red!"
"Last chance to make a difference, America! Yes we CAN."
"If Obama wins, socialism wins. Seriously I'll move to Canada. Not even joking."
"Anyone who votes for Romney is voting for the 1% and hates minorities and gay rights. Weep for America."

And then there were others:
"Can't wait for this election season to be over. Gonna go stab myself in the eye now."
"Why can't we all just get along? I LOVE EVERYONE!"

I simultaneously agreed with and disagreed with all these statements. As an independent moderate, I can identify with portions of both the Democratic and Republican platforms. (I won't enumerate my political beliefs further here, if you're interested we can grab coffee sometime.) As a human being, I too am sick to death of assualt-by-soundbite and pointless blustering. However, I DO think it's counterproductive to alienate your friends with sharp, and sometimes bigoted, opinions on a social platform that isn't built for longer, open, rational discussion.

This pic, via Twitter, is from Election Night at Busboys
rather than a debate, but you get the idea.
Same type of crowd. 
That's why I appreciated going to the various Prez and VP debates. This town is a Mecca for political nerds, and almost every bar hosted their own watch parties. So I gathered my peeps and we clustered in places like Busboys and Poets - imagine not a seat open in the house, all eyes glued to the TV, loud comments from supporters and/or haters, stout beer and sweet potato fries, and laughter at various presidential missteps.
I can't imagine the bars back home would get this worked up over politics. Cat/Griz football, maybe, but politics, no.

I'm more a foreign policy buff than a domestic policy one, so I particularly enjoyed the last debate. For your amusement (and mine), a brief recollection of my favorite moments (from all the debates):

I won't lie, the Democrats seemed quicker on their feet (other than the first debate) and better able to connect to my generation via the media. Sorry, Mom. [Enter political rant about media bias here.]
When Election Day came, things seemed pretty quiet, at least to me. But then, I worked from home on purpose that day to avoid the frantic rushing about town. I cast my ballot quietly, and my precinct saw a minimum amount of drama.
However, the liquor store (maybe I should start calling it my "fine wine shop" since people seem to get the wrong idea when I say "liquor store") was the place for citizens to air their opinions. Democrats and Republicans streamed in by the dozens - and you could tell their mood based on what they bought. Champagne = we're gonna win. Vodka/whiskey/bourbon = we may lose, and if we do I'll need to drown my sorrows. Champagne AND liquor = I'm prepared for anything. Beer = general partying. Because why watch sober.
A few customers, who shall remain NAMELESS (because I legit don't know their names) strolled in like they owned the place, utterly confident of a win and utterly convinced that I needed to agree with them. Badgered me repeatedly about how their guy is obviously the only guy to vote for.
Yeah, like I'm gonna share my views with a boozed-up die-hard on Election Night. In a liquor store. 3 blocks away from the Capitol building.
Hey, I'm just the cashier. Do you want a bag with that?


  1. LOVE IT. I spent election night stressed out, glued to the TV, drinking rum&cider. :)

  2. regardless of political persuasion, you gotta LOVE the Clinton photo...


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