The [Tuesday] Papers
As I disclosed in this year's Beachwood voting guide, I planned to write in Beachwood Inn proprietor Bob for president this morning.
But walking to my polling place this morning, I felt a nagging pull; the same one I've felt all along and I'm sure many Americans have felt.
While we've all read the stories about recalcitrant white voters and if racism is reflected in polls and if America would really put a black man into the White House, we haven't really seen very many stories about how dearly a large number of white people would like to cast a presidential vote for a black man as an affirmation of the righteousness of the civil rights struggle and everything associated with it.
Now, this isn't about us white folk, I know. If history is made today - and I believe it will be - that history is a million times more profound for African Americans. I know we're all in this together, but I hope in a sense that us white people just sort of step aside in a certain kind of way and honor the tortuous path that people of color have walked and continue to walk in this country. This is history for all of us, but even more so for some who have dragged this nation kicking and screaming into simple humanity.
In the end, I followed through with my original voting plan. I found it impossible to validate through my vote the sheer corrupt hackery of Emil Jones, Tony Rezko and Richard M. Daley. History doesn't need me today. If it did - if the election came down to my vote - I would surely put Barack Obama in the White House instead of John McCain. The Bush administration has been such a disaster that a Machine-backed hypocritical and cynical campaign is a thousand steps up from what we have, and John McCain's campaign promised not so much a continuation of the Bush years but a miasma of an altogether different sort.
McCain had an opportunity to capture large numbers of swing votes by running a different kind of campaign. He went a different way.
I do not believe this will be a victory for reform. But it will be a victory of another kind, in a way whose depths are nearly impossible to articulate.
My Other Three Votes
The first time I confronted this, I was truly torn. Wasn't there another choice? I mean, not Bob Barr cups, but . . . something else for the independent-minded voter?
So I chose an Obama cup. There was no way I wanted to be seen walking down the street with a McCain cup.
This morning was the third time I was confronted with that choice. So at least I've cast three votes for Obama at the 7-11. In Chicago, that might even count.
Once the doors opened, the park or election staff flipped on some music and Hall and Oates' "Private Eyes" queued up.
When I walked out after voting, Andy Gibbs was singing "I Just Want To Be Your Everything."
It was shaded in blue, though, almost like a space for official use only or instructions. My guess is others will miss it too - and not go back looking for it.
UPDATE 3:12 P.M.: Cate Plys writes:
"Bad news, you DID miss the con-con question. I, too, completed the question in blue at the very beginning - but that was just an example. I realized that when I got to the very bottom and found the real Con-Con question, which I almost didn't see. Wonder if they did that on purpose? I checked with the election staff and they confirmed that the blue one was just an example. I checked with them because I was afraid filling out the sample one would ruin the ballot."
That really, really sucks. I really cared about that vote.
I also hope to duck into the Beachwood Inn a couple times during the night to gather material and take advantage of the free pizza and a free drink if you show your voting receipt. After all, I did vote for Bob.
Losing the Cub Vote
Big in Japan
The Beachwood Tip Line: For all you do, this tip line is for you.
Posted on November 4, 2008
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