2014 – ELECTION DAY

Our polling place is at the intersection of “Fair Street” and “Dead End.”

We are a microcosm of this country … but we also different. We’re live in a liberal, highly educated and urbanized state, yet ours is a rural community. We express the characteristics of rural, urban and suburban areas. We are every-man and every-woman while remaining uniquely ourselves.

We vote. Our polls are busy, but lines move briskly. I could vote by absentee ballot, but I enjoy going to the polls. I even like waiting on line.

Last time I voted, Barack Obama was reelected. Two years later, the results of that election are troubling. The U.S.A. is divided along racial lines. The south still votes white, but it’s not just the south. In many regions, white men vote for other white men and their “issues.”

Women and minorities are losing traction. Socially, culturally, we are moving backwards. I thought these issues were settled decades ago, when I was a young woman and I’m appalled to find them back on the table.

How come we are still debating a woman’s right to have an abortion or have free access to birth control? At what point do we finished debating and get on with living? When are women, who are actually a majority in this country, become permanently free to choose what is done to our bodies?

How did religion get in the mix, creep back into the body politic? How did we allow a religious fundamentalist minority to become kingmakers in a country where freedom of religion and separation of church and state are fundamental tenets of our way of life?

How come we are still fighting the Civil War?

How is it possible so many Americas are so ill-informed about their own history they have never heard of the Articles of Confederation? They don’t know how their proposed “fixes” to today’s problems already failed? That their “new proposals” are historical disasters?

When did we become a nation of ignoramuses?

Around here, voting is a different experience than in more populous areas. Massachusetts is as far from a battleground state as you can get. No doubt we have our share of die-hard Republican voters, but we are as “blue” as an electorate can be.

It’s one of the reasons, although I would love a less harsh winter, the political climate suits me well. The idea of moving to a state where racist, anti-gay, and anti-woman attitudes are major political forces makes my stomach heave. The idea of living under the tyranny of fundamentalism makes me ill.

Around here, many incumbents run unopposed. Most are Democrats, but a couple are Republican and a few are unaffiliated. I guess people figure if our representatives are doing their jobs well, there’s no reason to make it into a battle.

At what point will the virulence of partisan politics ebb? When can we remember we are Americans? All of us are Americans regardless of our political affiliation.

If we can’t hang together, we will surely hang separately. History has proved it time and again. Empires fall from dissension within. It can and will happen here unless most of us start to behave like members of one nation.

The frothing at the mouth rage and rhetoric is killing us. Unless we let go of the hate, I don’t see how we can continue to be any kind of nation. Under God or not, we need to be a people, not a bunch of ill-mannered children whacking each other with our shovels in the sandbox.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

9 thoughts on “2014 – ELECTION DAY”

  1. Amen, Mrs. A. I am a straw on a camel’s back of the Red Sea, here in my redneck part o’ the world. Always, I vote. Regardless of how futile my gesture, one must speak out. Therein lies hope for a better world, with less smacking of tender heads with a sandy shovel.

    ’tis a world of ignorance out here in the big wild world. History does seem to repeat itself over and over and over again in our spot of the planet. Perhaps the Ugly American dream has finally come home to rest? We has met the enemy, and Shirley it is us. Were we struggling a bit more for survival, it might make us seem a bit more humane? Hard to know, when our ancestors crossed that line… from survival to elitist. I try not to think of it too often. It gives me a headache. 😉

    Hellsyeah, I will be voting. Because I can. Given to me by many brave and selfless individuals whose path I attempt to follow.

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  2. I guess as a population we wear the cloak of insularity under stress, when we are deeply unhappy. We then need something or someone to ‘pin the problem’ on and it’s always the other guy. I see it here in India, saw it in the States, in Turkey, in the Czech Republic, in Nepal…

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  3. Well said Marilyn. I agree too that if you can’t be bothered to go and vote, or in our case vote properly then you don’t have the right to complain about the government.

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  4. I also like to vote in person. I think that walking or driving to the poll makes me more aware of the act of voting. Agree 100% with the need to be one people, regardless of our political differences.

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    1. I just hope that the next two years aren’t as awful as they could be. I hoping somewhere along the line, it occurs to somebody that we are all supposed to put the good of the nation ahead of everything else … I am allowed to hope, even though I’m not especially optimistic.

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