Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Primary Voting - and the Road Ahead

Today, Connor, Helen, and I made it to their school earlier than we have ever been there. It was BEFORE the crossing guard was out. Both kids were amazed - and noted the absence of the guard. Why were we there so early? Because that's where I vote. I wanted to vote before heading in to work, in case things got nutty and I didn't get out on time to make it after work.

When we arrived, younger students were being shuttled upstairs (they normally hang out where voting was taking place) and older students were being shuttled to their normal holding pen. When the principal directed Helen upstairs, she looked at me in a panic. You see, we've been talking A LOT about voting for Hillary. And I had promised Helen she could vote with me. But there was no need need for worrying. The principal of course understood that Helen and Connor were sticking with me. We had very important business to do. We were putting our dents in that glass ceiling and frankly, I have voted for very few primary winners over the year. I needed witnesses for this vote.

We stood in a line long enough to be a general election (that moved slower than it needed to because the only people seemingly available to work at the polls are people who seem unfamiliar with the technology they are asked to use to look voters up). But before the school bell rang, we had cast my ballot.

And only then did it really start to sink in. If all goes as the pollsters say it will, Hillary and Donald will be the presumptive nominees of their respective parties after today. It seems almost unimaginable to me, and for sure I am in the camp of people who - even now - think it is simply not possible for Donald to make it out of these primaries a winner. But if he does, Hillary is in for a world of hurt. And my heart is already breaking.

I don't doubt she'll win it all if she gets the nomination. I believe Sanders will rally his troops (just as she rallied hers for Obama 8 years ago in what is still one of my favorite political speeches of all time), she will shore up her voters, and moderate Republicans will cross party lines or stay home. But I also don't doubt that he is going to sling more lies and hateful comments her way than anyone would want to deal with. (If Sanders were to make it out of the primaries the winner, I'm confident he could also win, but I'm equally confident he wouldn't be subjected to the muck that Hillary will be subjected to.)

And so it goes. She will fend off these mostly baseless attacks. She will be dragged through the mud. How I wish it would be different. That we'd have an intelligent conversation about his ideas to move the country forward and her ideas to move the country forward.

But I'm not very hopeful that will happen.

Thank you, Hillary. Nobody would want to go through what you're about to go through.


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