Today the world turns its attention towards our country and ponders the implications of our election results. I hope we give them reason to be proud of us, for a change.
I have already voted. North Carolina has started providing for early voting, no absentee excuses needed. This has proved very popular and may make today’s polling results less prone to question. I also used electronic touch-screen machines for the first time. It was fast and easy. If the security concerns can be addressed this method may see quick adoption.
I have been interested in politics ever since my father explained to me why he was an anti-Byrd Machine Democrat. My interest, and undergraduate degree in Political Science, coincided with the Viet-Nam War. I remember well the slow-to-dissipate bitterness, anger, and divisiveness of those days. Flag decals v. peace signs. But I also remember the idealism, hope and faith in our nation that ran through my generation. The civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and environmental movements were proof to us that our system was open, that the benefits of living in a free society could be available to all. Wise decisions could be made if we just engaged in civil dialogue. After a pause and a counterattack from the Right, the bitterness, anger and divisiveness are back. But we seem to have lost that hope that our political system can provide the mechanism to curb our society's most unpleasant tendencies. Instead of civil dialogue we have “Crossfire.”
There is something almost medieval in the air, something pre-enlightenment. We seem not to have put to rest old demons. We are not living in the future many of us worked for, thought inevitable. This is my generation’s watch, and I am appalled. Maybe the children must lead us, again.