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Election Day 2016 – Finally

It is Election Day. 

I sit here in the dark, at the table on our back patio, feeling drained already.  I have been up for about 15 minutes. I am drinking my coffee, and enjoying it immensely – I managed to get the proportions of creamer and sweetener exactly right today.

I can’t decide how early I should arrive at the polling place assigned to me. It is 5:53, the polls will open in 1 hour and 7 minutes.  Will arriving 30 minutes early, be enough time to miss the crowds?  I am not sure.  It is a crap shoot.  I think maybe I should have voted by mail, but then with everything that has happened during the 2 years of election campaigning, leading up to this very day, I am not sure my ballot would get where I needed it to go, if I did mail it in.

I must tell you, I have never been so obsessed by an election.  The whole campaign, with Clinton and Trump, has been like slowing down to look at the wreckage of a car accident, over and over again.  The carnage caused by this election, is overwhelming, I can’t take my eyes off it.  I have read every story online, getting madder and madder with each word.  It feels like reality TV has taken over our lives and our country.

Watching Trump and Clinton over the last two years, has been very much like watching one of those movies about the typical, cliques in High School.  On the one side, you have the brash, playground bully, who doesn’t care what he says, pitted against one of the mean, rich girls who is smooth talking, surrounded by other equally mean girls, insulated by her Daddy’s money, who schemes and manipulates and has no consideration for who she hurts, all the while smiling that fake, annoying little smile.

I have read articles about the candidates’ exploitive behavior, to women, to their constituents, to everyone.  I have read articles about one candidate’s supposed illness, watched videos about purported seizure activity, and I have read other articles about the candidate who some have compared to Hitler, who might possibly have ties with the Klu-Klux-Klan.  And I am kind of disgusted by all of it. 

And when did celebrities decide we cared about who they endorsed? They are simply entertainers, nothing more than “court jesters”.  They should stick to entertaining and not involve themselves in politics.  And is it fair that the President campaign for a candidate?  When did this become a thing to do? It is all so mind-boggling.

I am an American citizen, naturalized, and up until these last two years, very proud to be one. I spent 18 years of my life in the United States Air Force, serving this country which I love.  I know the rest of the world is watching this debacle of an election campaign, thinking we Americans have completely lost our minds.  And I can’t say, I blame them for thinking so.

And so, last night, I took out my California Voter’s information booklet, read all the explanations on the Propositions, which are on the ballot this year.  I circled the “Yes” and the “No”, so I will be prepared and ready to vote.  I was a little confused and bewildered at having to decide if adult film actors should wear condoms and get vaccinated, and at deciding about single use plastic bags being banned, mixed in with decisions about death penalties and legalizing marijuana.  I tried to make an informed decision.

Here is what I do know.  As an American citizen, I don’t feel like anyone in government is watching out for the people that go to work every day, pay their taxes, follow the laws, and do the things they are supposed to do.  I see big banks getting bailed out, cable TV charging whatever they want, phone companies doing whatever they want, huge corporations just taking our hard-earned money, and we the “little people” having no recourse at all.  I see our military resources being spread so thin to protect other countries, that if we needed to, we couldn’t pull them back in time to protect our own country.  I see the government in such shambles, I honestly don’t think any one person can save us.

Well, it is now 6:30, the sun has risen, and I must go do my duty as an American citizen.  I would rather just stay here, with my fluffy Golden Retriever wrapped around my feet, and drink my coffee. But if the candidate I don’t want to run our country gets elected, and I haven’t done my part, I will have no one to blame but myself.

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