Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The party line

I'm nervous about the elections today. I follow these things a little too closely, probably, and don't have a long history of happy Tuesday nights in November. 2004 was particular painful for me; DT's parents were visiting, and my intensely-conservative father-in-law had the job of trying to comfort me as I realized that things were not going the way I'd hoped. For the last two years, I've felt guilty for putting him in that position, and I've hoped that we wouldn't repeat the scene. Of course, he's driving down to visit us as I write this, and he and DT's mom should be here by the time the polls close. This doesn't feel like a good sign to me.

My first vote ever was an absentee ballot cast more against Jesse Helms than for his opponent -- not exactly an illustrious, or productive, start. I now live in a blue island in a red sea, which means that when I voted this morning, there were virtually no truly-contested races. My state senator and representative will certainly be Democrats, as will my congressman, and there is no way my governor won't be Republican. Because I'm idealistic about voting, though, and I refuse not to participate, I tracked down voters' guides from the League of Women Voters, the local paper and the local independent paper. DT and I shuffled the kids off to the polls this morning after we left the house, and we doggedly made choices through all eight pages of races, amendments and referendums on our Diebold machines. After agonizing for a few days over which of the five candidates (all without bachelors degrees!) I should select for our county school board seat, I discovered as I voted that we've been slightly redistricted, and I should have researched a different race.

My predictions for tonight: I will repeatedly (surreptitiously) check the internets while we catch up with my in-laws after the kids go to bed. My mother-in-law will pretend not to notice because she doesn't want to talk politics. My father-in-law will pretend not to notice because he doesn't want me to dissolve into tears again. When we do talk about it later, he will be shocked (for the third time in the last several years) that I voted for some Republicans. He will forget again before 2008 that I have ever voted for a Republican, and he will lump me in with "you Democrats." I will chafe and DT will remind him that the Democrats are way too conservative for us, at which point my father-in-law will say, "Huh. Let's eat dim sum!" We will eat dim sum.

Predictions for the races? I have no idea.

1 comment:

Suz said...

For the first time this year, I got the Nonpartisian Judicial voter's guide and was shocked at how I almost made some of these decisions randomly. One of our candidates, for instance, staes, point blank "I am a conservative." Hmmmmm....wonder how he's legislate? I voted for his opposition and hope that she makes it.