So I love politics. I follow politics like some people follow sports. Most of the time I couldn’t care less about sports, and I’m amazed that the guys (and some of the ladies) at work can talk for hours about basketball or football. I can talk about politics forever though, unfortunately this leads to debates because, unlike sports, politics actually matters.
And I can’t debate. Maybe it’s because I take it all too seriously. Maybe it’s because I know that I don’t know enough. Maybe it’s just because I’m a chicken. Most of the time I just listen while other people ramble on. Sometimes I’ll ask questions. Sometimes I change the subject or somehow extricate myself from the conversation.
My point is, I love politics, and I love voting. I know I’m a nerd, but I love going to the polling place and casting my vote in person. I love getting the sticker and proudly wearing it for the rest of the day. Voting early by mail just doesn’t feel the same.
Then there’s the returns coverage. That’s like the Super Bowl to me. Sometimes I’ll rotate between the networks and CNN or MSNBC (never Fox) just so I don’t miss anything. I love it, even if the elections don’t go the way I want them to like the other night, I still love to watch it. Only one time in my adult life did I actually turn the TV off because I couldn’t stand it any more. That was in 2004 when it became clear that we were going to be stuck with Bush for another four godawful years. I actually turned the TV off and cried.
Last Tuesday was my first time voting here in my little southern town. This being an extremely red state I didn’t expect any of my candidates to prevail, but you never know. My polling place is a swim center with an indoor olympic size pool, I got there just before 5pm and there were still a good dozen or so people there. Maybe I’m not the only one who enjoys the tactile experience of voting. I was also happy to see that they have some adult classes starting soon, I would love to get back into swimming.
Harley had a HOG (Harley Owners Group) meeting that night (now you know where he gets his nom de blog from) so Iris asked if I wanted to go to dinner. I felt like declining because — it’s the Super Bowl! — but I figured it would be an early dinner and, being here on the east coast, I would be home by the time polls started closing.
Sure enough, we went to Five Guys and leisurely ate our cheeseburgers and fries and chatted and I was still home in time to watch the teabagging of America. Although thankfully most of the really outrageous teabaggers lost, like the non-witch, the Nazi impersonator, and the guy who got his money the old fashioned way – by inheriting it.
As in most elections in the past where things don’t go my way, I was able the other night to keep things in perspective. There is historically a mid-term backlash where the minority party gains some seats in the House and Senate, sometimes the balance of power shifts as it did the other night. These things are cyclical. Even though Orange Man will now be the Speaker of the House, the Nation will survive. I even found an orange sign that the British used to stay encouraged during the worst years of World War II that seemed appropriate: