Monday, February 18, 2008

It's not you, George. It's me.

Breaking up with the President

It’s hard for me to believe that four years have gone by since the last presidential primary in Texas. While the day itself was largely uneventful, 2004 was a difficult time for me. It was my freshman year in college, my mom and sister had recently moved to Chicago, and I was in a serious relationship with a Republican. Don’t ask me what I was thinking.
In my infinite wisdom as an undergraduate senior, I can now offer the following advice: Don’t spend four years of your life with someone you wouldn’t vote for.
Life in suburbia was bland, but I found joy in the daily task of pulling my John Kerry yard sign out of the dirt and placing it back in front of the Bush one, where it belonged. The kitchen table hosted our dinnertime debates, but without a moderator, things frequently got ugly. Out of both patriotism and spite, I decided to volunteer for the Collin County Democratic Party as an election clerk in the 2004 primary. I was the only worker under 70, but I was proud to be a part of what I thought would be a new beginning for America; an America without George W. Bush as President. I was wrong.
I woke up early on the day of the election and drove proudly to my local polling place. I stood in line quietly (for once), knowing that I was largely outnumbered by a bunch of impatient people on their way to hunt. I closed my eyes and prayed that Wylie, Texas wasn’t representative of the national electorate.
It was just about two years after that day before I finally realized that I wasn’t with the right person. I got tired of living with a Republican, and I left. Yes, I’m kidding.
Party preference ultimately had little to do with my failed relationship. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye after four long years, but I knew and still believe that it was the right decision for the both of us.
I also know I made the right decision when I voted for John Kerry, but I wish for America’s sake that there wasn’t so much evidence to prove it. I also wish I could just call Bush up on behalf of America and end our relationship. With about 335 days to go, I would say whatever necessary to get him out of there early. “It’s not you, George, it’s me. I still love you, really I do…I just need time.” Yuck.
Maybe what I’m trying to say could best be summed up in a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. “Many people will walk in and out of your life,” and blah, blah, blah. Never mind. This says it better: People come and people go, but you could be stuck with a bad President for eight years.
This time around, you wont find me checking in voters and passing out stickers, but I will be in line. March 4 is being labeled as the second Super Tuesday, and most political analysts agree that it’s do or die for Hillary Clinton. The race is tight here with a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll showing Clinton and Obama in a statistical tie in Texas.
A lot more has changed in my own life than in the U.S. over the past four years. When I wake up on November 4, 2008, and drive proudly to my local polling place, I’ll still be voting in a red state. I wont have to go home and argue about the morality of stem cell research or run outside to switch the yard signs, but the country will still be at war. As much as I’d love a convincing Democratic victory on the day of the general election, it’s probably going to be a close race and a hard fought battle. This time, however, I won’t be wrong in predicting a new beginning for America; an America without George W. Bush as President. And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.

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