It's my 100th blog post! Cue the confetti! I know, two blog posts in one day, no less! For this special post I thought I'd share with you some random memories about elections, as this week was election day in Virginia.
Also, I wanted to share a random quirk I have: I hate it when people, Republican or Democrat, run unopposed. It's antithetical to the democratic process when people don't have an opponent. So, if someone is running unopposed, I write someone in. Just so they don't get 100%. This year, I wrote in my dad for county district attorney, my roommate for delegate, and my other roommate for school board. I think healthy opposition is important!
The first memory I ever have related to elections is 1992, when my dad was surprised to learn that my mom had voted for George H.W. Bush. Both my parents are Democrats, so it was surprising that she would vote for Bush. He obviously voted for Clinton. I don't remember my dad being angry, as he doesn't really get angry. I just remember that it was somewhat of a bone of contention between them.
In 1997, I remember that my mom took me to the inaugural parade for Clinton's second term. Sadly, I don't remember *anything* about it, other than getting on and off the bus at the bus stop near my house. I guess I also do remember getting some sweet campaign buttons, which I think I still have lying around somewhere.
In 2000, I was in high school government class and so I remember paying attention to the debates and election with a seriousness I had never had before. While watching the debates, I remember thinking that George W. Bush was such a lightweight, there was no way he'd be elected. I stayed up late on election night as the results poured in. I remember the aftermath - battles over hanging chads and voting machine malfunctions. My favorite memory related to this was camping out in DC at the Supreme Court for a chance to hear the arguments in Bush v. Gore - it was crazy fun and I was glad I had a spontaneous mom who was up for it! Unfortunately we didn't get to go in for the whole time, but my brother did. We did get to go in and observe for 10-15 minutes, it was pretty awesome to see the Supreme Court in session. I've always meant to go back, it would be neat to see a whole case presented there. I've often wondered since then if the Supreme Court had it to do over again, would they make the same decision? Of course, there was some great election related humor that year - the SNL debates with Bush and Gore are classic.
In 2004, I missed much of the campaign hoopla because I was in the MTC. I did vote absentee (my first presidential vote!). The day I flew out of Utah to my mission was election day, and I can't say I was very successful at tuning out CNN in the airport - I was hungry for the news I had been missing. Looking back, it may have been a tender mercy that I got to learn a little bit about current events. It was a sad day when we were sitting down to breakfast with my mission president and he informed all of us (gleefully) that President Bush had been reelected.
2008 was a much better year - I attended a day-before-election-day rally with then-candidate Obama, which was an amazing and inspiring experience. I got to vote on election day for the first time, it was so cool to be in a "swing state" where my vote actually could turn the tide of the election. My mom had a "soup kitchen" party to watch the election results roll in, and it was FANTASTIC to see President Obama win it all - looking back, we were so full of hope and excitement, it seems almost naive. Then I got to attend the inauguration, and hear the President Obama expound on his vision for our future. It's been hard to watch the slow progress and process that has followed, but I still think that President Obama is the best choice for 2012.
And, I just wanted to say I'm grateful for this blog. It's part journal, part political therapy, and part bloviation, and mostly randomness, but I do like doing it! Here's to the first 100 posts, and more to come!