Friday, October 26, 2012

One Nation--Under Ohio

"As Ohio goes, so goes the nation." As we draw closer to election day 2012 I can't get this cliched, yet true statement out of my head.

When I was a kid I remember internalizing that voting was a right yet also a privileged. That as an individual I had a sacred responsibility to vote and that I could make a difference with my vote. I also learned that voting was private. You never had to tell anyone who you were voting for--even people married to each other could vote different ways and that was okay and in fact, maybe never discussed.

I also grew up in a home where reading the morning paper was a participatory sport and believe you me, everyone knew where everyone stood on every politician both locally and nationally. So there is private and there is private if you know what I mean.

Today I am a registered voter in the District of Columbia and aside from all of the ongoing struggles with taxation without representation, I can and will indeed vote this year, but I'm having a bit of cognitive dissonance. You see, the District is overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats, and President Obama will win the District regardless of whether or not I vote. It's a fact. So in some ways my vote is not as important as some others. Maybe in terms of the popular vote, my vote may mean something, but let's face it, the electoral college votes are the real deal and will decide the election.

You may have heard of a statistician named Nate Silver?  He's made quite a reputation for himself in somehow magically (or maybe mathematically?) making sense of all the possible electoral votes scenarios out there and from what I'm understanding is--it's all about Ohio.

It makes me think that there is no need to spend any time at all trying to convince fellow voters from anywhere other than Ohio to see what I see, and I find that all really strange.

But this election has me worried. I will honestly say that a win by the Republican party will hurt my family. The perfect storm of a President who has no qualms about catering to the agenda of neo conservatives depending on which way the winds are blowing on a given day, mean that strides forward on issues like marriage equality will be erased for sure. Karl Rove and his ilk will indeed be back. Did you know for example that Governor Romney has real issues with people like me--a non biological parent in a gay relationship raising children. Oh the harm I present right? His exact words in the Boston Globe article I linked to were “Some gays are actually having children born to them,’’ he declared. “It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact."

No, for so may reasons, I so support President Obama.

And now it seems that the only people who have the power to decide the future of our nation live in a state I have little connection to. It all seems so sort of "bizarro world to me".

So to the few friends and acquaintances I have in Ohio, I'd like to definitely ask you to vote. I can't tell you who to vote for, but I can tell you that in my simplified view of it all, you can vote for either love and inclusivity, or hate and exclusivity. Please don't be tricked into thinking that you will not, over the next four years, fall into that not so loved category for some reason or another. History is littered with examples to the contrary. -M


Chris Grady (Koester) said...

That is exactly why I think that that votes should be by popular vote not electoral college!!! I voted for Obaman the last time and I will this time also!!

Liz O'Dair said...

Bravo, Monica. Unfortunately for voting, I and my entire family have fled the state of Ohio. My vote in Massachusetts is not nearly as meaningful. Doesn't make sense to me, either.

I was despondent when Ohio went for "W" in 2004, and joyful when it chose Obama in 2008. One can only hope that the Buckeye State chooses to vote with compassion and reason. I am optimistic.