Well I did it. I voted. As my 90 year old Grandpa said, "It's sad to say, but in the first time I am voting against someone instead of for someone."
What a sad statement.
He's voting in 16 or 17 elections? Something like that. The first time he voted, who did he vote for? Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fuck he's old.
I was kind of depressed when I got off work last night/early this morning, whatever your point of view is. It was 5:30 in the morning, as I was just dead tired after a long, 12 hour day that required all my physical and mental energy.
Going to vote today weighed on my conscience greatly, as I see it to be a great responsibility as well as a great priviledge. I knew what I needed to do, but didn't want to do it. I was voting against someone instead of for someone.
So as I drove home and thought of the consequences of my vote, I mulled over the fate of what was to come in the next four years.
What if Bush is elected? Will there be more wars, more hatred towards the United States? Will the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Will we enrage a world by electing the man they hate so much again, even after we know what he will do?
What is Kerry is elected? Will there be big socialist programs that inevitably we middle class will end up paying for with our blood and sweat, no matter how much the Democrats preach about the rich paying for these things? We will be seen as weak and an easy target? Will he do what his history shows and abandon Iraq, leaving turmoil and the perfect setting for another crazy ass fucked up freak to take control?
This is not a very good outlook, no matter who you consider will win. I fell deeper into despair as I wrestled with these thoughts on the drive home. At the point of total exhaustion, I pulled into a gas station to grab something, anything with caffeine so that I could make the rest of the drive home.
That is when my attitude changed. You don't see what I saw in the news, in movies, or on TV shows. You don't see it in the newspapers or on the Internet.
What I saw, was what America really is. At 5:30 in the morning, you see the reality.
You see the people that get up every day to earn an honest wage for honest work. You see the guy that is going to go wade in shit for the next 8 hours so that a family can flush their toilet. That guy in the business suit? He just finished up his Masters, and is dreaming of an office with walls and windows.
There's a single woman with her sleepy kids just trying to pay for her gas and praying that she gets that promotion so that she doesn't have to drag her kids out so early anymore. The man behind the counter is retired from his former job, but working part time to make a bit of extra spending money so that he can take his wife on that vacation she always dreamed about.
Then there is me. One generation from extreme poverty, I escaped this fate because of a Father with vision and a good work ethic and faith. Faith that anyone in this country could be whatever they wanted, if they just worked hard enough. Faith that his kids would have better, and they would never go to bed hungry as he had so many nights in his childhood.
This is America. It is not who wins tonight. This America will be alright no matter who wins. This America will always go on, and their spirit will not be broken. They will clean up the mess, throw it away, and begin again if necessary.
I have faith in this America. I have to.