Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Because I'm Paranoid...

I know you know the rest of the line. The election is less than one week from today. I know my choice, I'm proud to say I'm voting for Obama. However, I also recognize that while part of me wants to believe that he'll sweep the electoral college, part of me is terrified of what could happen instead. What if he doesn't win? I'm not kidding, I've not been sleeping well for the last several days, and I honestly believe it's because I'm so worried about the outcome of this election.

I'm 40 years old and I've seen enough Presidents to know what I want and what's important to me. I hate that our country is so desperately divided right now, and that our economy is in the toilet and that I and a few others are actually worried about our civil rights. I hate that we are in an illegal war and that every day we go deeper in debt because of it. I hate that our current President has lied to his country over and over again, has abused his power, and, quite frankly, is less intelligent than I am.

So much of my hopes for this nation, THAT I LOVE, are riding on what happens on November 5th. Not the 4th, because I believe that people will turn up, and that most folks will vote the way I want them to. No, I worry about the next day. The day of the returns. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Mitchell Bard, writing for the Huffington Post, put it beautifully- talking about voter fraud:

The Ohio problems are not unique. Early voters in West Virginia had their computer monitors flip their Obama votes to McCain, and a confusing North Carolina ballot, which excludes the presidential race when someone chooses to vote a party line, may cost Obama, by one estimate, tens of thousands of votes. Today brought news of a flyer in Virginia telling Democrats to vote on November 5 (the day after the election), and a man in Florida posing as a worker for a Democratic candidate for Congress (but whose information was traced back to a consultant of the Republican incumbent) taking ballots from Democrats and promising to deliver them. And that doesn't even include the widespread purges of voters in Democratic neighborhoods conducted by Republican state officials.

Writing about race:

Both the New York Times (Pennsylvania) and the New Yorker (Ohio) have recently done features on rust-belt white voters, and in each case, it's clear that Obama has to overcome some pretty strong race-based biases. The Times piece features one voter saying, "I'm no racist, but I'm not crazy about him either. I don't know, maybe 'cause he's black" (the person claimed to be voting for Obama anyway), while another remarks, "He scares me. The coloreds are excited, but my friends and I plan to write in Hillary's name." When I read the last line, chills of fear and disgust literally shot up my spine. I don't know what bothered me the most: that someone would care so much about a candidate's race (the positions of Clinton and Obama are so similar), that the person would admit it to a New York Times reporter, or that the person would use the term "colored." It's 2008. How often do you, in your day-to-day life, hear that word? I can remember someone using it to me once in the last 20 years (and, oddly, it happened a few weeks ago, but it had nothing to do with Obama).

So, yes, I'm having trouble falling asleep at night. But at least I'm not the only one thinking about it.

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