Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Election day and I'm all dewey-eyed
When I was a girl, living in Laos, I couldn't distinguish between the sound of thunder and the sound of gunfire. This was because the general who was sometimes in control of the government lived behind us and, every now and then, his house would be surrounded by men with guns, fighting would break out, and he'd be out of power in a coup d'etat. Cutting off the head - that's what coup d'etat means - of the body politic. So I have personal experience of the transfer of political power being brought about by guns, and I was remembering this as I stood in line to vote today. The sidewalk was lined with all stripes of political signs - Obama, McCain, and even that fruitcake Nader - and it made me extraordinarily proud to be living in a country where we fight it out with signs and words. Now I know that this country is far from perfect. But I also know that, at the end of this Fall day - under clear blue skies and lacey red and yellow leaves - power will change hands. Yet no one in line with me held a gun. No one was shot. Everyone was calm and civil. I voted freely for the candidate of my choice - the party not in power - and walked safely home. What a very wonderful day.