Published in the Rains County Leader on November 1, 2016:
I am not generally a political person, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the madness when it dominates every news program and talk show, the majority of print media articles, most Facebook posts, and a lot of conversations with friends. While I’m not usually a trend follower, it seems like I should at least acknowledge the subject that has dominated the consciousness of our country and a lot of the civilized world for the last year. So, here are a few thoughts – and remember, I’m not very political.
I wrote an article during the primaries in which I discussed the fact that, during my formative years, at least in my family and immediate circle of acquaintances, it was not considered polite to talk about your political choices. Issues were okay, but specific candidates were off limits.
Maintaining that standard was a little easier during the primaries when there were too many candidates to count much less name. However, now that we are down to the last round, the simple fact that the finalists are of different genders makes it difficult to keep your choice to yourself. It’s no longer possible to discuss your preferences in vague terms of him or her without giving yourself away. At this point, given the facts that David and I think a lot alike and that he doesn’t share my reservations about open discussions, most of our friends probably know where I stand. Still, I choose to keep my own counsel and pretend that I am carrying on the family tradition of voter privacy.
The timing of the fall elections adds an aspect to the political process that is missing from the primary season – costumes. I imagine the streets will be thick with mini-Hillarys and mini-Donalds along with a few ballot boxes and voting machines. My grandson attended the Halloween dance at his school sporting a coat and tie, a messy blond wig, a scowl, and pursed lips. He said he spent the evening talking about himself a lot and using the word “great” way too much. One of the teachers said he was hysterical, and he won prizes for both the funniest and the scariest costume. It would be pretty cute if his younger sister dressed up as Hillary, but she is more likely to go the princess route. On the other hand, last year she was a zombie fairy, so who knows.
In my article during the primaries, I mentioned a discussion my son and I had about superdelegates. At this point in the process, we’re more likely to talk about the Electoral College. Either subject usually leads to the need for election reform. Given the enormous cloud of scandal that has surrounded all candidates from the beginning, maybe we should add a morality clause to the qualifications to run for office. Then again, since no one is perfect, and since we have developed a tendency to record our every indiscretion on the Internet for the world to see, a morality clause would probably eliminate everyone.
David and I voted last week, and afterward, I posted this comment on Facebook: I have voted, thus securing my right to complain about the results! I ended my February article with a few sentences about that right to complain. It still seems applicable, so here it is:
Regardless of the imperfections of both our electoral systems and the candidates, I consider it my duty to vote. I also consider it my right to complain, but only if I vote. Hopefully, all my readers participated in the Primary. If you missed it, be sure and study up on the choices and vote in the General Election in November. I promise not to ask who you voted for, but we can all get together and complain about the results!
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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