Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My first presidential election was also my twenty first birthday. Kelly's aunt had just passed away, Ryan was living in Duluth, and Gore versus Bush was playing on the barroom TVs. We sat at Stub and Herb's, my one celebratory drink in front of me and I wallowed in the sorrow of the screen as the nation became more and more red. Indeed, I will admit it, that was the year I voted for Nader.
The next important election brought still more sorrow: Wellstone was killed in a plane crash. I remember the heavy sadness, but also that needed urgency in his memorial, the arena packed, our attention locked in on his surviving family. Norm Coleman won against Wellstone's replacement, former vice-president Mondale.
And Bush won again. To my stupification.
The next birthday election was additionally sad for me: I couldn't celebrate the DFL victories because the school referendum did not pass. Ultimately, it would cost me my job. And true, in the end, this was a blessing, but at the time, the pit in my stomach did not entirely agree.
This election is phenomenal to me: I look on the cover of the New York Times' webpage and I see the numbers:
Obama: 338 (62,748,033)
McCain: 161 (55,595,497)
Senate: 56 DFL; 41 Rep
House: 252 DFL; 173 Rep
Also a happy piece: the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment question was a YES, adding a small tax, which is a small price to pay when you consider the importance of the natural world and our arts. An amendment after my own heart.
I wish I could sail into this blog post completely thrilled, my happiness that Obama won clear, and I am, I truly am, but I'm selfish and want it all: the race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be contested, but Coleman is winning, and I haven't witnessed a recount that swung the other way. The margin appears to be 601 votes out of 2.9 million cast. And I know those numbers above mean Coleman would be handy to tip the balance, which I think, ultimately, is a good thing, as I reluctantly don't want either party to have complete control (feel free to argue me down from this statement), but this is my state, and I want my state to be reliably liberal.
And even more sad: it appears the ban on gay marriage will return to California, after all. This is something I've been furiously spouting on about--I know my friend Emily said it may be supported after twenty years, that it is a social movement, but it's ridiculous to me, and I'm befuddled as to why it's being knocked down and why anyone should wait. I consider it luck that the person I fell in love with and opted for happily-ever-after was a man, but it shouldn't be that way. I should feel the luck in having a person, not that he comes with rights--rights everyone should have.
But I don't want to end it on that note. Obama won! That's a good note to end on, indeed.