Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Care

It's not often that I'm as happy about an election as I am with this one.  Not only did my Presidential candidate win, but my state upheld its law allowing gay marriage AND approved charging in-state tuition to undocumented Maryland high school students whose parents pay taxes, both measures which I strongly supported.  

There's been many an election when I was not at all happy with the results, so I'm enjoying this win.

The first time I paid much attention to politics was in the 1968 campaign when Richard Nixon ran against Hubert Humphrey, who was then the Vice President under Lyndon Johnson.   Although I couldn't vote, I really wanted Humphrey to win and was heartbroken when he didn't.  I mean, I cried!  Because my Dad was involved in the local Democratic committee a friend and I went to the area election night party, and it was so depressing.  I remember thinking the country had just fallen into an abyss.  A lot of people in the country felt this way.  Here's a note about it from the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia: 

 The election was a wrenching national experience, conducted against a backdrop that included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and subsequent race riots across the nation, the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, widespread demonstrations against the Vietnam War across American university and college campuses, and violent confrontations between police and anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention as the Democratic party split again and again.

Oh, what a time that was for first experiencing the political system!

I voted against Nixon in 1972, the first time I was able to cast a presidential vote, but he won by a landslide.  Again, I was desolate.  And felt vindicated in 1974 when he resigned due to the Watergate scandal.  Goodbye, Tricky Dick!

After the country survived Richard Nixon I felt it could survive anyone, though that belief was sorely tested when George W. Bush "stole the election" and then took us into two wars. 

Under Bush I grew less passionate and more cynical about political matters, resignedly watching from a protective emotional distance.  

This blog isn't about politics.  It is about the meaningful, mostly happy, things that make up my life.  All this political background is to explain why I was surprised at how relieved and happy I felt when the election results came in.  If I feel that strongly, maybe I'm not as resigned as I thought.  Not being resigned means that I care, and that feeling is a happy one to have. 

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