Well, I did it. I broke my promise. I crossed party lines and voted for Obama this morning.
Back in 1992 I voted for Clinton. (Not that my vote counted, because all of Indiana’s electors went to Bush the First.) I was so disappointed with him, I felt I’d been cheated and deceived. I vowed never to vote Democratic again, at least not for the office of president.
And, gosh darn it, I could have kept my promise too, if the Democrats had stuck to their strategy of nominating dull, unappealing and slightly slimy candidates.
If the Democrats had nominated Hilary Clinton or John Edwards, I wouldn’t have been tempted.
But Obama was just too appealing to resist. Not that my vote will count, because all of Louisiana’s electors will likely go to McCain. Nevertheless it was cool to see the massive turnout at our polling place this morning. I was particularly impressed to see so many young people voting.
Despite the big turnout things were moving along. It only took me thirteen minutes to vote, from the moment I got in line until I cast my ballot.
I was a little disturbed that the poll worker seemed to be having trouble getting the booth ready for me. She was punching all sorts of buttons but they didn’t seem to be working as she expected. It made me wonder if the person before me was properly processed, or if her vote just vanished into the ether. Who knows? I find the whole electronic voting procedure highly suspect. We should get a paper receipt.
But then again we should do a lot of things. We should make like Maine and Nebraska and use the Congressional District Method for allocating electors. (Or better yet, a simple proportional allocation.) We should use Instant Runoff Voting so we don’t have go back to the polls in December to elect our Congressional Representative.
Obama’s promised to bring “the change we need.” And I do believe we need deep and fundamental change. I don’t believe the oldest and most powerful party in the world is capable of bringing that change. I still believe only an insurgent third party can do that. Our current system favors two powerful parties, so an insurgent third party would likely displace one of the two dominant parties.
That doesn’t appear to be happening in this election cycle. So here’s hoping the G.O.P. goes down in flames and thoroughly self-destructs. Here’s hoping the political landscape is completely reconfigured. I’m not holding my breath, but it’s a nice thought.
P.S.: The weather is beautiful, and it feels like a holiday.