Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Still, I Love to Vote
It always happens this way. Mid-Year elections get all the news headlines. Referendum on the President, you know the drill. Often, not always, but usually, the other party gets the legislative branch as some kind of response to the Executive Branch. Those Independent voters can be so dang fickle.
Sadly though, the media loves an election, hates discussion of the political ideas that will either save the country (the New Deal), or the Reaganomics that have killed our working class and is finishing the job of turning the land that I love best into a two tier society.
The Republicans are crazy, the Tea Party scary, but for all the rhetoric and their arrogance and the sometimes funny one liners about Obama, it’s a front for giving corporations too much power over our lives, letting the richest amongst us get richer and the middle class get poorer. The recession, the joblessness, only empowers them further. Why people vote against their interests in elections, I don’t know.
But what happens this way? New Jersey gets fuddy duddy mid-year elections. We never get to make a difference in the mid-year. Keeping Democratic losses down is meaningful, but not as newsworthy as sending a Tea Party candidate packing.
We get pretty good off-year elections. Sadly, New Jersey put a right wing freak in Trenton last year, but it was fun to vote. I always vote. We didn’t even have any local candidates, except a sheriff (I always write in Bat Masterson), nobody statewide. It’s Hudson County, you know the Democrats are going to win. Which I’m happy about, but with rallies in Washington, (seriously, the right wing saying Take Our Country Back, I mean, as the kids say, WTF), you sort of feel gypped. We get a dull election without suspense.
Still, I love voting. I’ve been going to the same polling place, a school, since I moved to town. Most of the poll workers are Spanish women, except for one or two Spanish guys, older chaps. I went early. They are fun and really good natured. I talked to someone who lived in my building, she moved to Grove Street. Yet I still have family here, she tells me, meaning Brunswick. Only a die hard, born and bred, Jersey City person would think that four blocks is moving away from her family. Just a wonderful thing to hear on election day morning.
I never miss an election, even the lame ones. My family on my father’s side has been here since the Mayflower and that Ain’t no Lie. My great + grandfather John Henry Herrick fought in the Revolution (Henry Herrick fought in the war of 1812 and Albert Herrick fought for the Union in the War Between the States). My old man, a WWII vet, always brought me to the place we voted, also a school. The least I can do is vote every November. I love voting.
Politics is frustrating, the news media belittle us, and the economy is depressing as all get out. But we can vote. The sky is a beautiful autumn blue, the air crisp, sweet and chilly. The Spanish women are working the polls, trading smiles, quips and laughter. Our Democracy my ancestors fought for is ensured another year. I did my part. You do yours. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.