I have been involved in politics since junior high school, when I made my own campaign posters for the Democrats inspired by the fact that a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, was on the democratic ticket as the nominee for VP.
My parents, former hippies, were about to do the unthinkable and for the first time, cast their vote for a GOP hopeful, Ronald Reagan but they still fully supported me and my desire to campaign for the opposition, even driving me to local shopping centers to hang my homemade posters
Back then, as a young independent-minded girl with visions of being an investigative journalist, the nomination of Ms. Ferraro allowed me to dream one day of voting for a woman for President. Through the years, I’ve been a loyal Democrat and a passionate voter — never missing voting in an election cycle, whether it was on the local, state, or national level. And since I’ve lived in Oregon (for the better part of the last 18 years) I have eagerly awaited my ballot, opening it, filling it out, and mailing it in on the day I received it.
This year, that was not the case. Each time I sat down to look at the ballot, I ended up walking away again, putting it off until another time. Vacillating back and forth — Would I even vote this year? And if I did (for local reasons), would I leave the slot for President blank? Would I write in Bernie? Or vote 3rd party? Last night, as I went to bed, the ballot still only 1/2 filled out, feeling hopeless and helpless for our nation, I decided I would throw my ballot in the trash in the morning.
But as I often do at morning’s light, I started with a fresh perspective of a brand new day. I voted this morning and dropped off my ballot at the elections’ office knowing that as an Oregonian, our votes don’t carry much weight — especially if you don’t follow the likes of the “In crowd.”
I voted for our local needs, for down ticket progressives, and against those who would cow tow to corporate interests like Nestle. Yes, I voted for a woman. A woman who has no chance of winning but with the hope that if enough of us (5%) did just that, we may have a sliver of a shot at a real third party candidate . . . next time.
I, like the majority of voting Americans today, cast a vote in a race where none are REALLY favored. Where more people voted FOR a particular candidate in order to block the other candidate from office — not because they actually believed in their candidate’s vision for America’s future. Even for the smaller number of voters, who truly like and believe in their candidate, that fact has to be a bitter pill to swallow.
So, yes, I voted but I am utterly heartbroken, whatever the results may be.