I understand why having voting day be a holiday is a good thing for all the social justice type reasons and the get-out-the-vote type reasons but this year, the reason I am wishing for that to be the case is for the I AM FREAKING OUT reasons. Ugh, so much anxiety, y’all. Can’t we all just use the day to vote and then sit down and breathe? Well, if you are lucky enough to be able to slice it up that way, which maybe you are not because you live in a disenfranchised area whereby you apparently have to stand in lines that are hours long to vote. Anyway, I am stressed out, is all I am saying. Not just at what the results may be, but also about what happens after the results. I feel like some very scary things have become normalized, and by scary I mostly mean things in the racisms and the sexisms family, among other isms of which I am not a fan. These are not isms that should be normalized and increased. We should instead be increasing the feminisms and the anti-racisms. WE ARE NOT DOING GREAT WITH THE CORRECT ISMS IS WHAT I MEAN I KNOW IT’S NOT ARTICULATE BUT DID I MENTION ANXIETY IS HAPPENING.
Not to expand upon the bummerness, but I really wish that my dad was here to vote for a lady prez. He would have been so excited to do that and I would have been so excited to talk to him about it. My parents grew up in a non-democracy situation (LOL what a way to describe colonialism A NON DEMOCRACY SITCH) and when the Brits first started letting us brown people hold local elected office, my dad ran and won in his town, becoming the first democratically elected mayor of that town and among the first in the country. Voting was never taken for granted by him. Add in my mom, a dynamo in her own right, kicking patriarchy’s ass and taking names, and I came up in a politically engaged family where the isms were in the right place. There is something about growing up with a feminist mom and there is a different something about growing up with a feminist dad, and I am so happy I had both. And I wish he was here for this. Then again, I wish he was here for everything.
I have voted in several presidential elections thus far in my life, and here are some snapshot memories I have of them. Ready? Ok.
- When I was in elementary school there was a mock vote and I remember that some of the kids were running around saying that the democrats would make us all go to school on weekends so don’t vote for them. THIRD GRADE PROPAGANDA MACHINE, Y’ALL.
- There was a vote for prime minister in Fiji one year and we were there that summer and I asked my older cousin who she was voting for and she WENT OFF. Apparently there it is truly a secret vote in that people don’t ask each other who they are voting for. People talk a lot about politics and are engaged, don’t get me wrong. But asking someone how they will vote? DO NOT EVEN.
- Maybe my all-time favorite election moment was the year I was watching the Democratic National Convention and everyone in the crowd was doing the Macarena (democratically uncool is how I vote on that) and lo and behold THERE WAS MY FRIEND ALLISON’S MOTHER MACARENAING HER HEART OUT.
- The first time Obama was elected all of my neighbors ran out into the street to celebrate in spontaneous joy and the kid directly across the street from me was about 8 years old and he busted out his trumpet and played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in a very wobbly but loud and jubilant fashion. (That kid is pretty much grown up now HOW DID THE TIME PASS SO FAST)
- My parents used to take me to the polls with them when I was a kid. I loved the old ladies that staffed the polling places. I loved that my parents dressed up to vote. I loved hearing them talk about it with each other. I had no idea what they were really voting about but I just loved the feeling of voting day.
The voting part is a big thing. The bigger thing, especially this time around, is all the work we need to do after the voting is done, no matter what happens. Let’s stay excited about the voting thing for today though. A lady could be president tomorrow. A LADY COULD BE PRESIDENT TOMORROW. Just think! And the thing is, my Dad would have loved to see it, but more than seeing it himself, he would have wanted me to see it. So I’m going to see it, and know it, and let that fill me up. Pretty great, right Dad?