This time, again.
In 2008, I was living in Tokyo and subsequently cast an absentee ballot to vote for our sitting President. I remember smoking three nervous cigarettes, just at the beginning of my new formed habit. I remember a friend of mine sobbing uncontrollably because Obama won — and she found this more frightening than McCain winning. Meanwhile, even though I knew somewhere deep inside, history would be made that night (or day, half way across the world), the most deeply anxious parts of me were already planning to extend my visa to remain in Tokyo, to run away from what I thought could be really horrible.
I am genuinely optimistic but genuinely afraid, too. Tonight could, no scratch that, IS important for all of us. For me, this election isn’t about the economy or jobs, because I have enough good sense to know you can’t fix a decade’s worth of war spending and general bankruptcy in a mere four years. You can, however, change the course of history in four more years. This “culture” war is real. As it stands, we are on the verge of a paradigm shift — we either move forward into a future were we all count or we regress into the primal savagery that has plagued us as a society.
In eight years, I plan to be: working as a photographer full time, married, and beginning the journey of being a mother. If the wrong side wins, I may not be able to fully realize any of these dreams. So, I keep these two quotes in mind on this day, for some comfort and assurance that human race is ready to move forward, that we must to ensure our futures:
"To cite an old, and far from naive, feminist saying: "If you think equality is the goal, your standards are too low." It is not enough to be equal to men, when the men are acting like beasts. It is not enough to assimilate. We need to create a world worth assimilating into." ~ Barbara Ehrenreich
"The wheels of change moves on, and those who were down go up and those who were up go down." ~ Jawaharlal Nerhu
NOW GET OFF YOUR ASS AND VOTE!!
[Edit: I can’t spell or choose the right words when I’m worked up]