22 April 2008

confessions of a reformed political schizophrenic

Forgive the digression into politics for just a moment. I guess it relates to the kids since I took Oliver with me to vote this morning, and have had a kid strapped to me most of the times I have voted for the last three years.

My political past is somewhat schizophrenic. I worked on my first campaign when I was seven years old. It was a state senate race and my candidate was Olympia Snowe, now the senior Senator from Maine. I grew up in a household where Richard Nixon was revered. The summer of the Watergate hearings was a particularly rainy one and I watched them for hours. I must have been 8 or 9 at the time. I read both volumes of Nixon's memoirs when I was 12. Then, being a rebellious teenager, I registered as a democrat at 18 just because the family was republican. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

After dipping a number of toes into a number of disciplines, I ended up a political science major in college back in the mid-1980s. I was an international relations concentrator, with a special, and no doubt somewhat twisted, interest in cold war nuclear weapons policy. I was also a bomb 'em back to the stone age conservative republican by my junior year. There. I just fessed up to one of the more sordid aspects of my past.

In one of the world's many little jokes, I graduated with a degree that was immediately rendered obsolete. Mr Gorbachev tore down that wall and the rest is history. No one really cared what I knew about the cold war anymore. I took the foreign service exam (without doing a bit of preparation) and passed, barely. But I bailed on the interview. It just seemed pointless.

A few years later I dated a really smart person (CD is still the smartest person I know though) who happened to be a bit more left of center. He helped me to see the error of my ways and it stuck, even after we parted company. So for nearly 20 years, I have been back where I started, a registered democrat. For the right reasons, though.

After a pretty good streak (Reagan, Bush (the first one), and Clinton) of voting for the winner in the presidential election, I have tanked it in the last two. Haven't enjoyed that much. 

This time around, and finally in a state that matters, I voted for Hillary Clinton. So many of my friends are for Obama and I like him, I just don't believe everything he says. In many ways it boils down to a matter of the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know. I would have liked a few years to get to know Obama better.

I got a serious rush out of voting for a woman. (more fessing up) I hope I get to do it again in November. It's about damn time a mom sat in that chair.

2 comments:

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Yesterday was like a day of mourning for me because I realized too late that as a registered "none of the above" I couldn't vote in the primary. I'm so pissed that as someone who truly decides based on the issues, I didn't get to have my say and support the candidate that I feel lies the least and stands for more of the right things. Here's to hoping I can vote for her in the fall.

Kim said...

I'm starting to think Hillary's supporters are being too quiet. Every time I am in a group and the topic comes up, everyone seems to be an Obama supporter. Then I sheepishly say I am voting for Hillary, and one or two others speak up that they are too. What are we afraid of?