Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm a Georgia voter...

The scene at the Dekalb County, Georgia, early voting location at Lianne Levitan Park at Brook Run in Dunwoody, Georgia, was, in two words, calm & steady. Not many people spoke to one another; some talked on cell phones; many read books. All tried to stay warm in the hour-long line on a 36-degree morning. Although people weren't overly talkative, their faces communicated mouthfuls. The telling voter visages could, by my account, be divided into thirds.

One-third were people not giving off an ounce of emotion, maybe too afraid to draw the ire of a rival party supporter or the ire of a party mate they'd turned on, or maybe they were just trying to bear the frigid temperatures.

One-third grimaced, seriously, seemingly under the impression that their vote was an individual attempt to defend REAL AMERICA from certain takeover by ____________ (fill in the blank with Muslims, terrorists, blacks, gays, liberals, socialists, or atheists). I could taste the fear on their faces. (Update: after re-read, this must have been the part of the morning that I was licking peoples' faces in an attempt to cheer them up)

The final third beamed of hope. One black woman in her mid-to-late-20s exited the building and crossed through our line. She smiled ear-to-ear as she looked down at the "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker which she literally was caressing.

The interesting thing about the racial make-up of the thirds was this: looks of demise could really only be seen on faces of the old guard, white people who looked conservative in appearance and who looked like the ones from McCain/Palin rallies.

On the flip-side, hope, relief, and elation could be seen on a mixture of races and ages, likely indicating, too, a mixture of creeds. And since Americans in 2008 ARE this heterogenous group, it is clear which candidate is capable of uniting America.

Today, I was very proud to be among the group that is turning the page on fear and division in favor of hope and optimism, and I burned into my brain the image of the voting machine screen when my fingertip illuminated an "X" next to Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President of the United States of America.

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