Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Making purple

This is a most excellent election results map. Mousing over each state will give you the popular vote results with actual votes cast (and counted) and percent of popular vote received.

Overall, Obama seems to have won by 6 percent of the popular vote, which is extremely narrow to my mind. The middle of the country and a good portion of the south went for McCain, which was expected. My home state of North Carolina is, apparently evenly split between the two candidates.

I couldn't watch the results come in. No way - that would be too much like watching a close contest between two really good pro sports teams. I'd get all hopped up and excited and loud and sweaty, and who wants THAT? Nobody, that's who. So, after a quick tee-tiny lil' peek at some of the semi-early returns last night (hey, I'm only human), it was nighty-night and we'll see how it all shook out in the morning.

And now? We see how it shakes out for the next 4 years. It's my sincere hope that the results of this election don't polarize the country, that they don't foment violence or strengthen some folks' resolve to remain ignorant of what the real goal of government is and instead focus on skin color or middle names as a means of coping with the loss of the Oval Office. I'm afraid that the middle of this country will become a hot mess of anger, that messages will not be received as intended (ooooh, SOCIALISM! oooooh, he's gonna STEAL YOUR MONEY, that rat-bastard MUSLIM!), that the blinders of politics and the strong historical bent of some voters' ideas of what a candidate and the 'right party' should be will prevent a new vision from reaching everyone for whom it was crafted.

(In truth, I had trepidation about the election results going the OTHER way as well. In the current political furor, tempers are easy to poke up to a roaring blaze, and who knows how many people had a LOT of personal identity at stake this time around? Seems such a silly thing to get into a fight about, but maybe that's just me and my penchant for apathy.)

I understand that this is hard news for lots of people. It totally understandable for people to be upset. Hell, I was upset in 2000 and 2004, believing that all those votes for the candidate of my choice were stolen by a phalanx of hanging chads and such, but after the disappointment wore off it was back to business as usual, with me ignoring Washington and taking care of daily life. I hope that same can be true for the people experiencing disappointment after this election.

In short - I'm happy, but afraid. I'm afraid that the bones have already been thrown for a sizable chunk of the population of this United States, and in them they see nothing but ruin and a new leader to aim their blame on.

I really hope I'm wrong.


In other news, it appears that my Libertarian votes were not for nothing. The guy running for U.S. senate got 3.12% of the vote, and only needed 2% to get the Libs automatically on the ballot for the next election cycle. See, any third party needs to get something 10,000 signatures on a petition to the state to allow their names to be entered on the ballot for any election, and the petition needs to be accepted. If a party can get the petition accepted AND get at least 2% of the vote at that election, then their party's name is on the roll for the next election and the whole petition thing can be skipped. That's a hugely time-consuming and expensive thing to get to take off the books, and is a big step forward IMHO.

I threw my vote for Governor to the Libs as well, and that candidate got 2.87% of the vote. It doesn't LOOK like much, but I think the wave has started breaking over the walls of the two-party system, which I find I dislike more and more. If at some point in the future I find myself staring at a ballot with at least 3 names for every office, it will be a grand day. I might be very very old and easily confused, but you can bet I'll have 1) done my homework, 2) marked up my sample ballot, and 3) voted my conscience.

Full disclosure: on a ballot that included probably 2 dozen choices, I voted republican about 6 times (because they seemed the better candidate! Whoa! what a concept!), left the uncontested races blank (about 6 of those), tossed a couple of votes to the libs, and you can figure out the rest. Schizo, yes, but what would you expect from this aging hippie with a good job and a mortgage to pay, a straight ticket vote?

Hells, no.


Gotta git to work. Y'all have a good 'un.

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