I voted! It was my first time at the polls, having finally become an official citizen of the commonwealth (MA) this year.
Since I don’t drive, I felt no rush to convert my New York driver’s license when I moved here for residency, but then I noticed that 10 years had passed and my dreams of a 2 bedroom, west side condo in a doorman building overlooking central park were never going to happen.
Although I find American politics and the corresponding media (not news) coverage entertaining, I doubt that my vote has much impact on me. I live a privileged existence with a nice salary, supportive family and friends, good health care coverage, and I’m too old and (my nephew is too young) to be sent to war. Massachusetts residents are extraordinarily liberal on social issues, so I feel like issues of homelessness, substance addition, etc. will be debated and considered whoever is in power.
I enjoyed the experience of this election nonetheless. Problems with the local economy, housing prices, school reform, big dig and national issues (the war) have harmonized the voices of Massachusetts into a chorus singing for change; and the democratic victory was so massive that the feeling at the poles was one of a celebrating community rather than of a mob marching on the statehouse.
The last election I actually cared about was in 1980. I was in 7th or 8th grade and revered Jimmy Carter as the only honest voice in Washington; a man demonized by gas guzzling, slogan slinging, blame mongers. Looking back at the narrow victory against Ford and his team’s brashly arrogant approach to politics and legislation, I realize this highly intelligent giant hearted man had no place in Washington. Regan turned out to be an excellent president (Iran Contra … and his successors aside).
It was the beginning of the PC age and I had organized my geeky friends to set up our junior high computer lab (Radio shack TRS-80s) for outcome predictions based on exit polls. We planned to stay up into the night entering the numbers from the TV networks, but it was a short depressing evening.