Yes, today is that special day that only happens once or twice a year. That day when the choking vapors of bleakness dissipate with the new dawn of opportunity. A day where past mistakes are rectified and promising new things are nurtured into growth. A day where…oh, forget it. Who am I kidding? Today is election day and I am mad.
One of my faults is a cynical streak. Mostly, I am a realist or an optimist or some amalgamation of both. I want to believe the best of people/organizations/situations, but I like to prepare for the worst. Everyone makes mistakes, (though politicians campaigning would have us believe only their opponent has this problem). Didn’t some angry voter quip,”To err is human, to forgive, unheard of?” Witness any blubbering politician holding a news conference to admit to the long denied illegal or immoral act. Yup, a cynic.
My cheerful attitude was all set to coast through this election season, smile plastered on…and then the dreaded ads started. Annoying at first, but one can always flip the page of the newspaper (yes, I am a dinosaur and read the news on paper) and carry on. Afterwards, and closer to that fateful day, we are treated to a barrage of piffle on the radio. Even my beloved classic radio station, KLEF, is not immune. Forty minutes of dire or folksy political advertisements and twenty minutes of music. Inspiring! (A cynic or realist here, you choose.)
How often one hears a particular candidate on the radio is in direct proportion to: how irritating their little jingle is, how much money they have in their political war chest, or how far their views are from one’s own. I haven’t turned the on radio in days. When one expects to hear a harmless number from Tchaikovsky or Copeland, and ends up with hot air instead (and not from the horn section), lips are pursed, teeth are ground, and radios are flipped off. I’ve even taken to muttering.
Why all this spleen? I am rather sick of hearing how a certain candidate or proposition is going to heal all wounds and set the choir singing and the alternative is bankruptcy, joblessness, children suffering, angry mobs, and old folks having to fund their retirements by working in sweatshops. OK, enough inner cynic, enough!
People are risking their lives and dying on a daily basis to have this privelege I am fussing about, so I realize that my biannual peeve is just this: grumpiness. I hereby resolve to grow up and be more thankful for my opportunity to vote. And the cynic in me is trying mightily not to be discouraged by the symbolism of a strong wind this morning, blowing lots of cold, wet snow into town. Slick, near whiteout conditions whilst driving to my polling place. Is there a double meaning in that?
*Lyrics from “Loser” by Beck
Stood in line to vote lately? A shout out for a beloved politician or ad?