Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Election Fever

Before I begin this post, I just think it's worth mentioning that when I logged on to Blogger just now I noticed that I have had 10,025 page views since I began this blog. Now, when you break that down, it doesn't seem quite so impressive. That's about 2,500 a year -- just over 200 a month -- since I started writing back in mid-2008. And when you consider that most of those views are probably by my mother, I guess it really isn't such a big deal. Still, 10,000 views does make me feel like a little bit of a cyber-lebrity.

Okay, now on to the post I originally intended:

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you'll know that today is election day, and after weeks of back and forth with my (former) local board of elections over my absentee ballott, I finally voted in person at my old polling station, which just so happens to be located at my old elementary school. How's that for a shot of nostalgia?

The first time I voted for president was in 2000, and I remember feeling a sense of excitement not unlike that of a child the first time she really understands what Christmas is all about. I stayed up late to watch the electoral college votes come in and felt genuinely cheated by the outcome of the race, hoping for some miracle in Florida at the eleventh hour. I remember feeling similarly enthusiastic during the 2004 election, but 2008 was when I had the biggest case of election fever. I had been living in the U.K. for just over two years and had had Crumpet only about six or seven weeks before the big day. Even though I was no longer a resident of the U.S., I felt the most invested in this particular election. I remember watching all of the debates online while Crumpet slept, and on election night I set my alarm for some ungodly hour so that I could check the results live online.

This election year has had a very different feel for me than those past. For some reason, I've felt a bit of a disconnect. Maybe it's because my personal life has been so full that I haven't really cared too much, or maybe it's because the longer I've been living outside the U.S. the less connected I've felt to American politics. (I've definitely been keeping up to date with my fair share of British political issues lately.) I haven't really followed much of the news, being very selective about those articles that I have read, and I've only really watched a few clips of the debates so that at least I'm not totally uninformed. I did watch some of the convention speeches, but I was actually more impressed with Elizabeth Warren's DNC speech than with either Obama's or Romney's, and I found myself kind of hoping she'd be on the Democratic ticket in 2016. My election fever has sort of turned into an election headache, and I'll be happy when the polls close and the campaign phone calls have ceased. Even Crumpet was less than impressed when I asked her this afternoon if she wanted to go help me vote for the President of the United States. Her eyes lit up for the briefest of moments, but then she said, "Um, maybe next time. I want to stay here and play with Grandma."

Perhaps my enthusiasm will return this evening when I settle in front of the television with my glass of wine to watch the votes being tabulated. But regardless of how jaded I feel about the election, I am very thankful for my (and my daughters' future) right to vote, a right I hope to gain in the U.K. soon.

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