I can’t believe the day is finally here. I feel like a bride who has been planning a huge, elaborate ceremony for more than two years, and now the day has finally come that will change my life forever. It seems slightly unreal.
My wise friend Mike suggested that I write about my voting experience on this historic day. The problem is that I voted by mail weeks ago, so I don’t have a good story about valiantly waiting in line for hours in the rain (probably the best I can do is the anecdote about the Neil Young ticket). I don’t know why everyone doesn’t just mail in their ballots, to tell you the truth. So much easier, and more importantly in Suzy world, less boring and time consuming.
Of course, having nothing to write about has never stopped me before.
I was encouraged by the line to vote at the church at the foot of my street this morning, and the many people at intersections throughout Oakland, urging people to vote no on the hateful Proposition 8, which seeks to outlaw marriage for gay couples, and yes on Proposition 2, which seeks humane conditions (such as being able to actually stand up) for all California farm animals. I can’t believe we need a law for that one. The girl brandishing her Proposition 2 sign outside the gym was accompanied by her aged and patient beagle.
In the days before I figured out that I could mail in my vote, I did stand in line, most memorably to vote for Bill Clinton the first time. It was a bright, sunny day, like today, and I voted at the church around the corner from my apartment on Jackson Street in San Francisco. I still recall the joy in my heart as I cast my ballot, the feeling of being high on hope as I walked the few blocks home, sure of a brighter future for this great country.
Today, I feel hope, too, but also fear in the wake of the last “election” and the intolerance and hatred inherent in some of the propositions that somehow made it on the ballot. But I can’t believe the majority of my fellow Americans can honestly think this country can stand another four years of the mismanagement that has brought us to the sorry place we’re in now.