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Election Day ’08

Let me get this right out there: today I am voting for Barack Obama. I hope that you won’t stop reading if you’re a McCain supporter because I am not about to try and influence your vote. Nor I am about to defend my vote. I only ask that you will respect my decision. Because lately I’m feeling downright disrespected.

I don’t talk about it much on the blog but I am a political junkie. I listen to talk radio, I read political blogs, I talk about politics with my family and friends a lot. I make my decisions based on issues that matter to me and on values that I support. I do my research and I pick my sides. And I get mad and passionate and fierce when I have to defend my beliefs.

In the last few weeks I have been called anti-American. I have been called an over-educated liberal from New England. I have been called stupid and I have been accused of drinking the Kool Aid. The other day someone actually said to me, “Go on ahead and vote for the black guy just so you can feel good about yourself. But if you have a mortgage and bills to pay then you’re going to vote for John McCain.” I was pretty furious and I lashed out. I said that of course I have a mortgage and bills to pay. And I said my vote for Obama has nothing to do with having a mortgage. My vote for Obama has to do with the issues I deem important. Because the things that matter to me most – a strong economy, paying fair taxes, universal health care, a woman’s right to choose – most closely match with Obama’s views.

My choice has absolutely nothing to do with the color of Obama’s skin – I’d vote for him if he was purple. My choice isn’t because I distrust John McCain or feel Sarah Palin is unqualified. It isn’t because of 8 years of George Bush or Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. It’s not about the war in Iraq or the No Banker Left Behind Act. Do those things factor into my decision? To quote Sarah Palin, “you betcha!” But are they the overriding factors? Absolutely not.

And here’s the bottom line: my choice is my choice. Just as your choice is your choice. And I will defend your choice just as fiercely as I defend my own. All I ask is that we discuss things with mutual respect and understanding. I have several close friends who are voting for McCain and we have had many conversations about this election. We don’t agree but we listen to each other. And then we let it go. And we talk about knitting or restaurants or television shows. We talk about our kids and our home improvement projects and our mutual friends. We all have much more we agree about than we disagree about.

Other than the obvious – a clear and decisive victory for Obama – I have one other thing I’d like to see happen when this election is over. I’d like to see us all move forward and let go of the anger. No more name calling, no more finger pointing, no more hatred. Even if we don’t all agree on how to get there we all want what’s best for America. Right?

So go out there and vote. Watch the returns. Root for your candidate. Celebrate if he wins. Cry if he loses. And then move on. Tomorrow morning we’ll still all be Americans. And this will go back to being a knitting blog.

This Post Has 101 Comments

  1. Yes!!! Yes yes yes yes yes.

    I traditionally fall on the other side of the vote, but I have experienced exactly the same sort of constant attack and derision for my (moderate!) views. There has been precious little tolerance on either side of the issues.

    I am disappointed and frustrated when people throw out the ‘if this election doesn’t go the way I’d like, I’m leaving this country/we should secede’ because that seems the opposite of supporting the democratic process, and moving forward together after the election.

    Thanks for writing such a thoughtful, and hopeful, post.

  2. Amen.

    I’ll admit to thinking some unkind things about people who are voting for The Other Guy (though I know precious few people who fall into that category,) but when I start to get all self-righteous I remind myself that everyone is entitled to their opinion and force myself to let it go. I can’t imagine letting my emotions get so out of control that I would call someone else anti-American and stupid…that’s beyond rude.

  3. Yay for your commentary and standing up to the nasties… I am mighty tired of that part of election year. I am an NPR junkie and have been following the degeneration of campaigning rather tiredly, but then have also heard great stories of hope. Amy (Purple Fuzzy Mittens) is a college librarian in Reno, where early voting has been taking place at public spots such as their Student Union and she was excited to report long lines of students waiting to vote through the past week… long live democracy. Personally, I am hoping for an Obama win and a return to civility in this country!

  4. Nothing and no one will change this country if we can’t all come together. After the last 2 elections, the country has been so divided. I truly hope that we can all put our differences aside to make real and lasting change a reality.

    And I love that “over-educated” is now an insult. Sheesh!

  5. Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling. I think its more important that people get out there and vote for whomever and whatever they feel is the better choice. Period. Our freedom to choose and influence our govenment is one the greatest rights we have as Americans. We should all take advantage of it.

  6. Carole, you said a mouthful! And rightly so. I too am a political junkie and a staunch supporter of Barak Obama, but I would not stoop to calling someone else names because they chose to vote for John McCain. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and all of us who can vote have a right to choose! Way to go!.

  7. Here in NYC it’s a bit different. Friends of ours that are Obama supporters have been very pushy. I voted for Obama during the primary and then felt like crying afterwards, because he didn’t really reflect my views (I supported Edwards, but he had withdrawn from the race), going on the better of 2 evils way of thinking.

    Today I voted for Nader. He supports universal health care, same-sex marriage, is completely pro-choice, and an immediate pull-out from Iraq. Unlike Obama.

    The bottom line is that my vote belongs to me, not anyone else, as does yours. I hope that after the election, dialog as you have described it will be possible and nobody will be made to feel un-American.

  8. When I vote for members of Congress or my state legislature, I vote as you do, for the individual that reflects my beliefs on issues important to me. When I vote for President, I vote for the individual that will shape our foreign affairs and possibly nominate a Supreme Court justice. If you will, my view is Congress has the domestic power and the President has the foreign power, and so I vote accordingly.
    The candidates all want what is best for America – each just may have a different definition of “best’.
    Bottom-line, you have to vote if you want to be heard.

  9. No matter who you are voting for there is name calling and stereotyping. It’s ugly. No fun. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

  10. I’m definitely ready for the whole mudslinging, name-calling heap of B.S. to be over. I voted this morning before work; when I checked my email at work, there was an anti-Obama “joke” from my father that left a nasty taste in my mouth. I wish I could respond, but I have no idea what to say to him; our viewpoints are almost diametrically opposed these days. I’m tired of the words “known terrorist”, “socialist” and “anti-American”.

    I think one writer I saw on the net has the right idea: No campaigning more than six months before the election, and forbid the candidates from mentioning anything about their opponent, only about their own views and plans.

  11. One of the (many) things I love about you is that you understand what it means to be honest and frank while maintaining your dignity and always being respectful of differing viewpoints.

    And I simply couldn’t agree with you more.

    I am OVERJOYED that I was able to cast my ballot FOR someone I believe in.

  12. Well said.

    My 19 year old son and I just finished voting…. I think we canceled each other out. Oh well.

  13. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ignore others and do what is best for you. 3 cheers for Carole!

  14. Very well said, Carole! I, too, voted for Barack Obama – because I want a chance for a change! And, his values are the closest to mine and what is imporatant to me.

  15. yea!! Let’s try to keep it positive while we move forward – I hope Obama wins but agree we as a country need to hold our elected officials accountable, regardless of party. Thanks, Carole!

  16. Hey Carole! Well, I voted for The Other Guy, but I respect your opinion and your right to vote for whomever you choose (and I will continue to read you blog)! Isn’t that what our country is all about?

  17. Well put! I voted for Obama, too, but at least respect McCain enough that I can deal if he somehow pulls it off … though, if he does after the inept campaign his campaign-people have run, it really will be a miracle comeback. Strictly just looking at the campaigns, one was well-done, smooth and professional, one looked like a meltdown of finger-pointing. On that basis alone, I want the folks who knuckled down and did their jobs WELL to get win (grin). I admit that Ms. Palin scares me–but then, so does Ms. Pelosi. (Really, isn’t there any way I could vote HER out of being in charge of the House?)

  18. Wonderful post, Carole! Thanks for saying what a lot of us have been feeling (on both sides, I believe). This election has really gotten people worked up, in good ways and bad. I also voted for Obama, but like you, I have friends who are for McCain. Our political views do not totally define us.

  19. If Canadians were permitted to vote in the US election, a majority would be voting for Obama. In fact on many of the Canadian Political Satire shows they’ve made a point of talking about it. One joke during our recent election was that people wanted to choose Barack Obama on the ballet. Sad that our own election had the worst voter turnout in history. Some interesting choices on our ballet. One was the Radical Marijuana party, not sure what their platform is but I’m sure after a while you don’t care!!

    Glad to hear that the polls have long lines today!

  20. I heartily agree with your perspective. I voted early (two weeks ago) and have been excitedly awaiting this day.

  21. Well said. But what I really want to know (and I believe Carol King aked it best) is “Will you still love me tomorrow?”

  22. /returning six hours after reading this the first time

    Well said, Carole.

    Thank you for putting me in a better mood before I headed out to vote this morning. I hope the chinese food was/is yummy.


  23. Ah, I think I love you. What a great day in our history together. For the first time in my voting life, I feel like I was part of an extraordinary change.

  24. Amen sister! And so eloquently said. I’m sorry you were treated so disrespectfully! I keep my politics to myself because of the repercussions around me and the divisiveness it creates. I voted and am so ready for positive changes ahead! What a great day!

  25. Hi Carole,
    Well said. I too hope that soon respect for the American People will be back.
    I have many friends who wouldn’t visit the US while GWB was president, now they will come back ( I’m Swiss).
    I always knew that the people ISN’T GWB!! Everybody was always friendly and just struggling with everyday life…

    You did it, yes!

  26. I’m excited for our new leader, and the new opportunities and possibilities ahead. It IS time to work together for the good of all citizens of our country!

  27. I appreciate your opinion and the way you present it. I appreciate that you don’t criticize those who voted differently than you did. On the other hand, I would like to point out that, by voting for Obama and his redistribution of wealth philosophy, you are taking away other people’s choice as to whom they choose to give their money. I don’t want my government to donate money on my behalf as a taxpayer; I want to retain that decision for myself. Now that Obama is President-elect, that choice has been further taken away from me. The Democratic philosophy is all about big government and equality. But what about those of us who have worked harder than others for what we have. Face it, we are not all equal and to say that we are ignores those of us who go to work every day and don’t expect a handout. We earn our money and want to retain the right to choose how to use it, whether it be to keep it for ourselves or to give it away. THAT is freedom!

  28. The interesting thing is, it seems that with the several past elections we go through such embarrassingly overt rudeness and nastiness. It’s tiresome. I won’t be a part of it. I’m am a conservative and proud of it, but good grief, can we all get over ourselves? I would never think to outright offend someone or say something that may potentially create an issue…I was getting my hair cut the other day and I was shocked at the boldness and abrasiveness of the comments made…not knowing who in the room might be listening and may be offended or hurt by the remarks. I wonder sometimes if we have just lost our good manners. I was always taught that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. And seriously, as I mentioned in my blog post today, no matter who is president, there is nothing to stop us from going out there and being a positive influence. Thank you. I love my socks.

  29. I am happy that Obama won last night, but when I was watching the speeches at the end I was saddened. If McCain showed as much humility and honor in the campaign as he did in his speech last night, then the election would have been very different in its nature if not its results. I would have been happy to listen to the contest between two educated, reasoning individuals treating each other and their positions with a kind of quiet honor.

    Maybe more politicians will realize that they don’t have to be negative to make their positions known and to win the day.

  30. Every Thursday we have friends come over for dinner and Survivor (yes, I’m a rabid Survivor fan from season 2 on, don’t judge me. ;op) and the election has come up a couple of times. Each and every time I have been completely astonished by the ignorance shown by people whom I have considered good friends for 10 years. Last week I’d had about enough and lost my temper. To sum up, I yelled, “I don’t care if he worships a special rock he keeps on a shelf, his religion does. not. matter. to. me. and frankly, it shouldn’t matter to YOU (meaning my friends) all that MATTERS is whether he can LEAD US out of this NIGHTMARE” and then proceeded to lose all control of my emotions. *sigh* I’m pretty sure they’re still my friends ;op I’m also ecstatic that this is over and hopeful that we can heal as a country.

    Good post, Carole. Do you think it’s possible that someday we can have a purple president? That’d be kinda cool, dontcha think? ;o)

  31. Carole,

    I havent read your blog before but I will now. Nope, not an Obama support-and not a McCain one really either. But what I like about your post is your message of mutual respect. Believe me, as a moderate to conservative, over-educated TEXAN I get a lot of abuse and name calling as well. I can well remember the horrible arrogance of the Clinton campaign and presidency-and how embarrassed I was to be in Europe during the Monica Lewinsky deal. And I have had to listen to people scream for the last 8 years that “he’s not my president” or “shrub” but now are saying we should all respect the office of president even though my candidate was not chosen.

    Yes, Respect is the answer. There is, after all, room for dissent in this great (not perfect) but still great country of ours.

    “I’d like to see us all move forward and let go of the anger. No more name calling, no more finger pointing, no more hatred. Even if we don’t all agree on how to get there we all want what’s best for America. Right?”


  32. I got here from the Harlot’s post, and worked back through some of your posts. And while I was not an Obama supporter (and not necessarily a McCain lover either), your post is dead on. I live in Maryland, where to be a McCain supporter was considered pretty much to be “anti-American” here. I basically kept my opinions to myself, because I was tired of arguments rather than discussions on issues. I got the feeling that I was not entitled to my opinion. I love your thoughts on mutual respect and individual choice. My 21 year old son has commented that the part he did not like about his first presidential election was the disrespect that he saw from people on both sides. The majority has spoken, and I can truly say that I hope to be proven wrong in my choice, because that would mean that our great country is better off for this election. How can anyone hope for anything else, no matter which candidate they voted for? And things will be better for all of us if we all work together and learn to do so respectfully.

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