November 3, 2020: Diary of a Nervous Voter

You’ve done this before, I tell myself. You don’t need to worry. You voted. You received a letter saying your ballot by mail was received. But you worry because you keep hearing we may not know the winner for weeks. There are different deadlines in different states for mail-in ballots.

“Will it really all come down to Pennsylvania?” my husband wisecracks at breakfast.

I say in that cautious female calming voice that seldom works: “Remember 2000? It can’t be as bad as that.”

I am the only one who remembers 2000. The only one on Earth, it would seem! In 2000, I dragged myself to the polls to vote for Al Gore even though I was sick. I was so sick I hardly comprehended the ensuing internecine struggle for power over the winner of the election.

Gore was declared the winner, and then Bush “challenged” the election over the issue of, yes, “hanging chads” on ballots in Florida. And, yes, George W.’s brother Jeb Bush happened to be the governor of Florida. George W. stole the election.

I do miss those ballots with chads, because it was easier to vote by pushing an instrument through the ballot than it is to color in the bubbles with a pen (my state’s system). A slip of the pen outside the circle and your ballot doesn’t count!

The other day I read a sentimental op/ed piece describing George W. Bush as a president with gravitas. It is so easy to rewrite history, isn’t it? How about W.’s war in Iraq over the nonexistent Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Now George W. Bush is older and wiser–and I like his paintings! But we’re on different sides of history.

Gore won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for his work on Climate Change (deservedly).

We pray that the election results will support the environment, control the spread of Covid, repair our relations with the free world, boost the economy, ensure good health care, restore the gravitas of education…

And let the results be swift!

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