Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post election relaxation disorder

We had a party at our house last night, so we could watch the election returns together. Conservative food, liberal drinks, as they say, and a bunch of steadfast Obama supporters. Oh, and one wise guy who said that IF he could vote, he'd vote for Gordon Brown. Yeah, he's a Scotsman in Indiana, and sometimes you just have to roll with that British humor thing, and pour him another drink.

It's hard, living in a red state, when you have a blue vote. It makes one wonder, how does my vote count? But last night, we, and the teenagers amongst us who had voted for the very first time, found out just how important that one vote can be. One of the kids joked about how, when the polling place workers found out that it was his first vote, they shouted "First time voter!" and all applauded him. And so, of course, every time they talked about the first time voters on CNN, or mentioned the youth vote, we too applauded them. Loudly.

And so it was that when some of the adults got bored with the holographic Capitol and the magic wall (sans bouncing Michigan), we found ourself watching Indecision 2008, a wonderful humorfest that was basically nothing but Stephen Colbert, my hero, trying successfully, multiple times, to crack up Jon Stewart. And that is where we were when the announcement was made that Barack Obama was projected to be the winner of the election. Now, imagine this: watching a program where Colbert has had a bird on his shoulder, has screamed his anger into a large plastic bottle, and where Jon Stewart just tried his loyal best to keep from totally losing it. When you're watching something like that, do you really BELIEVE it, when at the end of the show, they announce that your candidate has won?

So, we flipped to CNN and found that yes, it was true. All those months of spreading the word, hoping for the best, standing in line to listen to Obama speak downtown, and getting out the vote worked. My blue vote finally counted. And the most refreshing, and touching, moments came after everyone was gone, and I sat in the living room alone, just taking it all in, and breathing a huge sigh of relief. It was when my oldest, also a first time voter, emailed and told me "wow. I never thought that my one vote would mean anything. It really does, doesn't it?" For him to learn that lesson, this young, is an incredible thing, and hopefully one that he'll never forget.

Though I do believe that there are may be some teenagers whose most vivid memory, before the champagne flowed, is that on this night, in this room, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart reported history. Which means, of course, that as we all suspected, in America, ANYTHING is possible.


Vintage Sue said...

YIPPEE!!!! Thanks for turning IN blue. I live in VA and am similarly ecstatic. I've been chanting RED TURNS BLUE for 6 months and it's finally true. I finally ripped the "Blue Girl in a Red State" bumper sticker off my car.

Please hug your son for me and tell him THANKS.

Anonymous said...

Happy for you gals & hope for the best for all of us. I, however, am a red vote living in a blue state - and I, too, wonder just how my vote counts. My eighteen-year-old daughter - excited and proud to cast her first vote ever - did not, this time, learn firsthand how one vote can really mean something. We still believe it in theory, though! After McCain's most gracious concession speech & Obama's equally gracious response and very, very inspirational acceptance speech, I believe our country sent a message of unity to the world. God bless the U.S.A.

Jennifer said...

You're not the only person who had the same reaction to the announcement on TDS (we watched MSNBC, because I heart Olbermann). I've lived in N.C. for nine years--it is an incredible feeling to know that your vote really counted! :)