Since my office is in the same building as Republican headquarters and right across the street from Democratic headquarters, it was kind of inevitable that I’d get flagged as a target for campaign sign placement. After all, I live on a main drag, where lots of people would see the sign every day.
I really hadn’t made a firm commitment to either presidential candidate. Frankly, I’d be real tickled if in some election year there was actually a candidate that I admired who the party picked who I thought was competent and not a sleaze. (I know. I want a lot.) Politics is something I don’t really get into these days, because it’s disheartening to find the system doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, the people just spend time making negative claims about everyone else, and nothing positive seems to be accomplished.
But I was raised on politics. My father was the Republican precinct committeeman, a campaign manager, a San Francisco Goldwater convention delegate–you name it, he did it. For years, I did it too. I was the kid who got sent door-to-door in strange neighborhoods canvassing, then I was a page at the Ohio State Republican Convention when I was 15. I cold-called people in support of candidates. I handed out bumper stickers with the best of them.
The little old ladies at the polling precinct were so proud when I was 18 and walked in for the first time to vote in the Ohio primary, handing me a Republican ballot with bated breath. Of course, that’s when I had to tell them I’d registered Democrat because all my friends did, because they liked Howard Metzenbaum and I wanted to vote for him. I didn’t think jaws could drop that far. But my dad, through gritted teeth, made some comment in the background about the system working. I think there was something there about how I couldn’t drive the car any more, too.
Many of us in the autism community may have preferred one of the candidates who was eliminated earlier in the process; I haven’t heard much from either of the two main men on the subject. Special needs children certainly came into focus with the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket– but honestly, it feels like that little boy is more of a prop than a cause. (See more on this here.)
I’ve been reading and reading and liking what I read less and less. The last straw was when the New York Times revealed that the scope and format of the vice-presidential debates would be limited because “McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.”
If they didn’t think she could handle the job, they shouldn’t have offered it to her.
That, along with the general tenor of the Republican party line, as the evangelicals grow louder again, McCain sounds not like the candidate he was eight years ago, but like the current president, and there are threats to a woman’s right to control her own body, and for everyone’s right to choose a loving partner, regardless of gender– all of this finally settled in and we made a decision.
There is an Obama sign in our front yard, and I’ve volunteered to cook some meals for campaign volunteers, in lieu of going door-to-door, which is a little difficult with our issues and schedule. We’re registering people to vote, too, and encouraging anyone we know to get out. This will be a close election, and we all remember what happened in 2000.
It’s time to take action, before it’s too late.