They should take away my right to vote. I’m not kidding. After this Chris Christie thing, I have decided that I may be the worst possible judge of political character among people who read just enough to be dangerous in politics.
Chris Christie broke my heart. I really thought he might be the one. The politician who said what he really thought, did what was best for his peeps, and was willing to cross political lines to get a job done. Loved him during Sandy. Loved him when he said it wasn’t anyone’s business where his kids went to school. Looking back now, I should have seen that playground bully everyone was afraid of so many years ago. What is wrong with me?
My embarrassment goes much farther back than Christie, but it cleanses the soul to out yourself, and since the gay thing doesn’t work for me — although I’ve often wished I loved women instead of men (yes G., this is directed at you) — I will have to stick to outing myself as the person you should not listen to when I tell you whom you should vote for.
Nixon. Yep. When I was at the University of Nebraska, I gave Nixon all the money I earned one summer and worked on his campaign. Volunteered my hard-earned time. We can all agree that I got that one wrong.
And I voted for George Bush when he ran against Al Gore, whose decision to let his ridiculous daughter and wife make the campaign decisions — they had zero experience — was more than I could bear. I’d loved Bush’s father; just how far could the apple fall from the tree? So far from the tree that it can cross continents.
So then I fell in love with Obama and his Yes We Can message. I hated the way Hillary and Bill trashed Air Force One when it flew them to New York after Bill left office, and somewhere deep inside I do think she knows what happened to the man who died amid Scandal Number 24, so I left her on the curb. I was sure I was right. I felt my women friends who were standing by Hillary were being gender biased in their politics. Silly me.
Then, four years later, as she flew home after her tenure as Secretary of State ended on Thanksgiving Eve, I wrote an Ode to Hillary because I finally realized that you do not have to be a nice person to do good for your country. You can be vindictive (aren’t we all at some point?) and a little greedy and still serve your country well. And, when you are smart on top of all that, it’s a winning ticket. She would have done so much better than Obama as President, and once again my radar just didn’t pick that up. When she cried in New Hampshire, I thought she was ridiculous. “There is no crying in politics,” I screamed at the t.v. Now I’m crying on Cape Cod. Whatever.
Sticking with the theme of crying in politics, let’s get back to Obama. I cried with my friend Sue when Obama won and we knew all would again be well in the land of the brave and the free. I even took a picture of myself in the voting booth, voting for the first man of color to be elected president. It took me a long time to get myself and his name in the picture. So long, in fact, that the lady asked me if there was a reason I was facing the outside of the booth instead of facing the voting box, and did I need help? Help? Yeah, I need help.
So now I sit here in the sixty-first year of my life, realizing that all the work I put into deciding whom to vote for is a waste of time, and that when I get to the booth in 2016, the person who signs me in should look up and say, “Aren’t you the one who keeps getting it wrong? Are you sure you want to give it another try?” I will take a breath, stand up straight, and say with conviction, “No, I’m not sure, but this girl is an American citizen, and we citizens vote. So I’m here yet again doing my American best.”