Thoughts on the Election

I voted this morning! I was planning on sleeping in and going to the polls at 10, but I couldn’t sleep because I was in my self-pity mode, so I got up at 5:30. When I got to my polling location, I didn’t have to wait that long to vote, and I was moved to the front of a line because my name was in the N-Z category.

I was right on top of things, and the election worker commended me for coming in prepared. I have an Indiana ID, which doesn’t count as voter identification in Ohio, so I was ready to present my phone bill and a bank statement. I then pointed out my name in the registration book, and I signed in.

We vote by filling in squares. That takes care of the hanging-chad and Diebold computer problems. I hope I filled in the squares completely. I can be a perfectionist on that sort of thing! In any case, I made sure that I thoroughly filled in the square beside “McCain/Palin“!

That’s right–I didn’t experience a flash of light that compelled me to vote for Barack Obama. It’s interesting: I can be fairly open-minded when I’m writing on my blog or thinking about the candidates and issues. But, when I enter the voting booth, I am rigidly right-wing! I go with my gut instinct. Some of this is planned, since I enter the voting booth with my Republican flyer, which tells me who all the Republicans are. And I go with my gut on things I’m not too sure about. If it’s a tax, I vote against it, whether it’s for schools or jails. I also voted against a bond for conservation. Why put our city into debt? I probably would have voted against Sarah Palin’s sports center had I lived in Wasilla at the time!

One thing I’d like to say: I’m different this election year than I was in 2006 and 2004. When Obama representatives called me, I politely told them I was voting for John McCain, and they were cool with that. In the first case, a woman called me and asked if I’d be voting for Senator Obama. I replied, “No, I’ll be voting for John McCain, but I have a lot of respect for Senator Obama. I even read his book, Audacity of Hope! Besides, I expect you guys to win, anyway.” She still encouraged me to go to the polls and vote my conscience.

This was a middle-aged African-American woman, and I kind of like that group of people–maybe because I’ve gone to church with middle-aged African-American woman, or I like their characters on TV, or they seem so nice, no-nonsense, and sincere. One group I can’t stand is liberal college students. That may be because I never fit in with my age group, and I resented their self-righteous liberal dogmatism, which treated other opinions as if they didn’t matter.

But, when a young white woman called me and asked if I would be voting for Obama, I was polite again. I said, “No, I’m voting for John McCain.” She thanked me for my time, and I said, “Thank you for participating in the political process.” She laughed at that!

I never got calls in 2004–maybe because I rarely answered my phone back then. In 2006, I got one from, and another from the Sierra Club. I drank at the time, so I got into a big debate with the guy while I was drunk, trying to watch Phyllis Schlafly on C-Span. The conversation ended pleasantly, though. In the case of the Sierra Club lady, she called me when I had just come home after a hard day at school. “As you probably know, our elected officials aren’t doing much about our nation’s energy needs,” she told me. I replied, “They would if the Democrats didn’t get in the way!” She wasn’t all that friendly after that–she was like Jimmy Carter at the 1980 debate, who seemed baffled that anyone could believe the way conservatives do.

I think I’m more polite and open-minded now because I don’t hang around my school as much (I don’t have classes.) Most of the rabbinic students are dogmatically liberal, and being around dogmatically liberal people makes me, well, dogmatically conservative. At the same time, I’ll be going to a meeting tomorrow morning, and I’m not looking forward to the liberal gloating I’ll most likely hear!

Be sure to vote–for John McCain!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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4 Responses to Thoughts on the Election

  1. Anonymous says:

    Too late! I voted for the Constitution and wrote in Ron Paul.

    Paul Ray


  2. James Pate says:

    Does that mean you took my advice on Bob Barr?


  3. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t vote for Barr because I think Ron Paul is far superior and secondly because of Barr’s previous track record on Iraq and the Patriot Act.

    Paul Ray


  4. James Pate says:

    Yeah, Ron Paul votes his mind, whether it’s orthodox politically or not.


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