02 November, 2008

We Voted!

Yesterday actually, but it was really exciting this time.. and made slightly more complicated by the fact that we vote by mail and therefore had to fend off small Halloween-candied grubby fingers from ruining our ballots while we voted.

We dropped our ballots off downtown. We are the County Seat, so there was actually an early voter area open as well. It was so great to see all of those people in line to vote. Hundreds of people in line. Will it be record turn out this year? Wouldn't that be great if every American who is eligible to vote, actually voted? I cannot imagine not voting. I feel like it is one of those things that reminds me of how lucky I am to live in the United States. Did you watch the John Adams series on HBO? I cried when they they voted on the resolution to declare independence. The bravery! The courage! And then there's the women's suffrage movement How could you be a woman and NOT vote? It took until 1920? jeesh. 
Political discussion is generally interesting in my family (especially with my family of origin). We are an opinionated lot, mostly the type that pays attention to the news, the price of oil, the DJI We are admittedly, rather homogoneous: white Californians who own homes and can read, but the differences start after that: private school, public school, GED or college, Christian or Jewish or Uncertain, Pro or Anti Choice, and obviously different generations are in different places in our lives. We are in the midst of health care costs for a disabled child, and wondering about school vouchers, and saving for our children's college education. Perhaps we overlap on capital gains for home sales, and each have an interest in the estate taxes for different reasons. The conversations have finally become a respectful acknowledgement of differences. I *think* that my parents are starting to see that I am not  "crazy hippy" from Berkeley who is so liberal I want to live in a socialist country. It's possible that they are starting to treat me as if I am merely an adult with a different opinion which has been thought out just as thoroughly as their opinions. I am more liberal than any of my parents, but I laugh because most of the things I think? I  thought them before I even went to college, which means that they influenced me (and for a longer period of time)  than four and a half years at Berkeley ever did... it's their own fault for raising me to think (how's that for spin).


I am sort of feeling like all of the talk from the candidates is just rhetoric. The country is sort of broken right now. We all believe that we are resource depleted or going there, so we are tightening our belts and not spending, which makes stores go out of business which puts factories at a slow down so there are more unemployed people with less money to spend on things. It is a cycle, and in my odd mind it is a cycle that is fixed one person at a time (with some bank bailouts along the way probably). If we believe that things are looking better? Then that little "Consumer Confidence Index" will look great and the traders will trade on that news. I know it's not as simple as that, and certainly Descartes is trying to ensure that I do not "do my part" by buying everything at Target, but I am trying to stay positive. It will NOT be years and years of depression. I cannot bear the idea that the peak of my husband's career will be during the longest economic depression the country has ever seen. I cannot be consumed by the idea that (the collective) we may be the first generation which is less successful than the previous generation, and less financially secure.  I refuse. I will remain optimistic (is this sounding like more Jack Handy?)

and I will remain hopeful. 
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