Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a single tear

I got up this morning at 6:22 --- about 14 minutes later then I meant to --- to accompany Comrade Landlord to the polls. We got to the site a few minutes before 7 as planned and waited in line with our neighbors. Sleepy but excited, the line had a visible bounce to it as we waited for the doors to open.

When we got inside Comrade Landlord vouched for me (I was a little lazy in getting my address change made official, but luckily being vouched for is incredibly easy). He was the 37th person to cast his vote in our district, and I was the 39th.

Standing in line, looking at the people who make up my incredibly diverse neighborhood, tears came to my eyes. Voting is this amazing thing that so many take for granted, but I knew standing there that no one here was taking it for granted. Not today. Even in the 5th District of Minneapolis, which is historically about as liberal as it gets, all the washed out hippies, first time voters, Little Earth residents* and hipsters, saw this as a chance to have our voices heard, to make an impact, to take a stand.

When I got to work early I spent some time on facebook. A lot of my friends had used their status updates to say things like, "I voted, did you?" and "last chance! Vote Obama!"

again, tears in my eyes. I was saying to a friend, I think some of us younger committed liberal voters were really damaged by the 2000 and '04 elections. These were our first chances to vote and it felt like we couldn't make the impact we wanted to. Our eyes were opened in a very real and serious way to how much of an impact individuals can have. We don't want another victory to slip through our hands.

My friend, Singing Twin P., participated in Midnight Madness last night where, from 11pm to 2am, a group of young citizens went around the University campus posting signs, talking to bar hoppers about where and how to vote and doing what they could to get out the vote at the last minute. He has been working really hard this past few months to make sure that college students make their voices heard.

A cousin posted a video on her blog which I will paste here as well.

once again, little miss water works over here.

Then I watched Obama on the daily show from a few days ago. This is what we need, I thought. My stomach flipped. I've done what I can do, what anyone can do. I voted. Tears.
(*Little Earth is a community for Native peoples in Minneapolis and the school that houses many of their programs is where the polls were, right across the street from the Little Earth housing development. For a short time I worked as a sub for one of the child care center's that works out of the building)


Songbird said...

I'm almost sorry to have such a smoothly running suburban polling place. Your experience is the true American experience.

Auntie Knickers said...

For me, the waterworks turned on when I watched President-elect Obama's acceptance speech. It was inspiring, realistic (he knows it's not going to be easy) and - well - historic!

On a more gossipy note -- who was the homely old white guy on whose shoulder Oprah was leaning every time they showed her? I guess I haven't been keeping up, where is Steadman?

Onkel Hankie Pants said...

I believe where you voted was formerly the school associated with Holy Rosary Catholic Church. In high school I looked over to it every morning in home room when I raised or lowered the window shades or raised or lowered the windows themselves - whatever was needed to keep Mrs. Elliff content. The classroom was extra long with a high ceiling and the old double-hung windows were huge - I remember the western wall as being a vast expanse of glass.

celeste said...

those kids!
dude...do they have that available on iTunes? though the video means a lot to that song.

amen, and amen!