I had a tough time sleeping last night. I kept flashing back to election night 2016. I remembered exactly where I was (in the back room at church while Amigo rehearsed with the barbershop chorus) and how I learned of results (on my laptop computer, hooked up to the church wifi), and how I kept thinking no, no, no, no, no. It wasn’t just that my idol, Hillary Clinton, had been defeated. More than that, it was the feeling that millions of Americans had been misled. Fooled. Taken advantage in the worst possible way.
So I tossed and turned. I gave in and picked up the Kindle and read for a while. Chuck’s ThreadWords game was on level 9, so I didn’t bother playing. Of course, my mind wandered, and I couldn’t concentrate on the book.
Flash back to election night 2008: I stayed up late watching the results, texting La Petite, who was working for her college newspaper. She had voted early – her first presidential election! – because she knew she’d be busy with her journalistic responsibilities. I was watching television news at home while she was watching in her newspaper office with her journalism student peers. Back and forth, getting more and more excited as he took state after state, we kept texting, texting, and tearing up at the thought that we were watching history. Even John McCain’s concession speech was moving. Classy, that Senator McCain. Very classy.
Fast forward to 2012. I was an even more active volunteer that year. I could walk into the local party office, walk past the life sized cardboard cutouts of Obama and Biden, and be greeted by name. I voted early that year. And then, November 1, just days before the election, I had a stroke. Gliding into the MRI machine, I kept thinking “Thank goodness I voted early.” Election night 2012 found me just like 2008, texting La Petite as I pondered stroke recovery. Chuck, typical television engineer, was out somewhere covering the results.
I slept better with 2008 and 2012 in mind – even with the stroke memories. 2016 was different, and I didn’t go back there. I went to sleep instead.
And this morning, Election Day 2018, the Major Midterms, I lined up at the polls next to Lee Snodgrass, a candidate for state senate. Take that, Mr. President. The grass roots campaign machine is moving again.
Oh, my goodness, I hope I’m right.