thegaygardener

Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Polling Depression



"Our long National Nightmare has come to an end” - President Gerald R Ford on assuming the Presidency after Nixon's resignation.

Wheeeewww! It’s over right? So sorry to have not posted in quite awhile. It’s been an interesting week. Rather than sit around biting my nails & reading exit polls, I decided to volunteer to be a Poll Worker for Los Angeles County this past election day. It was quite the experience.

You have to arrive at the polling place (Hollywood Women’s Club for me!) to help set up. When I pulled at 5:45 am there were already people lined up though the polling place did not open til 7:00 a.m. And it was RAINING! Wow! I thought this is going to be interesting.

The line eventually wrapped around the long blocks between Franklin Ave. & Hollywood Blvd. But people were so nice & so patient and frankly so HAPPY to be voting, that it felt a privilege to help them do it. You obviously cannot discuss politics if you are playing a official role. But there was one family who came in mid-day that I just wanted to leap up & embrace. African American father, white mother & 2 beautiful sons. The Mom was practically jumping up & down waiting in line. And she could simply not wipe the broad smile off her face. She already had her documentation out and as they approached holding their sons by the hand, she looked at me; and I thought we would both burst into tears. “Great day!” I managed to utter. “It surely is!” she replied & then raced off to the nearest booth. Father & mother each took one child into the voting booth with them. And I wondered if these 2 small children could even appreciate the significance of what they were witnessing.

One thing I could have lived without were the God damn “Write In” people. There were only a few thank God. Yes, I know, as Americans we all have the right to vote for whomever we wish, whether they are running or not. Yep, you can just write in any name you like at the top of your ballot. Think your DAD would make a great President, sign him up! Really miss Hillary Clinton (really?) write her in. The pain on the ass part is that you need a special write in ballot with blank slots at the top. So I had about four of these requests in the 13 hours that the polls were open. I was rather annoyed thinking: ”Come on people! O.K. so your guy or girl isn’t among the nominees. Are you just going to piss your vote away?” But I did my duty & gave them the appropriate ballot. Imagine my delight at learning hours later as we recorded the ballots that two of the write-ins were for PARIS HILTON!!!!!!!! Well, she was running right? But seriously! You waited in line for nearly an hour to vote for PARIS for PRESIDENT!!!???? I’m thinking now that there should be some kind of IQ test for voters! Not ALL RIGHTS should be given to all People!

Which is clearly what many, many people were thinking as CALIFORNIANS voted to write discrimination into LAW! Sadly Proposition 8 (or PROP HATE as it is known in my neighborhood) passed by a slim majority. I’ll likely have a lot more to say on that as the story unfolds (Boycott UTAH!!!-The Hate State CANCEL SUNDANCE! (film festival) RESCIND Tax Exempt Status for Churches Acting as Political Organizations!!) but just let me now just register my profound disappointment & disgust.

For almost 2 years, I have imagined waking up on November 5th, to a whole new world. And I did. I didn’t realize though that the joy & relief I would feel at Obama’s election to the Presidency would be so sourly surpassed by the personal rejection I felt at the hands of my fellow Californians who still think it just that I & my fellow gays keep riding on the back of the bus. Even today, looking at the photos of one of my favorite political rituals where the President-Elect comes calling on the current President as a courtesy, sort of a political Open House Tour…I felt elation then a gnawing guilt. YEA! WE WON!!! Oh no, YOU won; me & mine…we’re still waiting. And every goose-bump feels like a betrayal.

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