My election seasons.
I first voted in the 2000 election. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college. I nobly attended a Ralph Nader rally, and met with the campus green party. I obnoxiously preached to older and smarter people about the importance of third party candidates. Then when I got my ballot, I thought really hard about it, and realized voting for Nader was pointless; I voted for Gore. Oregon went for Gore, but Nader had a lot of support. Glad I wasn’t one of them. Not that it would have mattered anyways.
In 2004, I had graduated from college, and that summer ran the phone bank for a local labor organization. That campaign season was FUN. I was constantly surrounded by union folks who smoked and swore and just gave a shit. I started a new job on November 1st, too - the job that I still have now. That election night was a disaster. When Kerry conceded on Wednesday morning, I listened on the radio at my office. Then I started crying and couldn’t stop. And then I was sent home. It was embarrassing.
2008 was wonderful. I was with a boy I loved very much, we went to parties, got drunk, cried happy tears, and everything seemed so good. After years of dating losers, and voting for losers, things were looking up. I was 26 and life was becoming awesome.
And now, 2012, things aren’t quite as hopey/changey as they used to be. The candidate that became president wasn’t perfect (although I’m still tremendously supportive of him), and the tone of this election is miles away from the last one. And that same boy I loved in 2008 went nuts drinking, then quit drinking, bought a house with me, married me, and then 10 days ago, decided to leave me. I am older and wiser, and unfortunately, more cynical. But I guess a lot of people are this year.
Still, there’s always a little hope somewhere. Things get good and then get bad, and then get good again.
So here’s to a win today, and hoping that we are all - all of us - in a better place next time.