Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Out Of Bed

Last night I rode the scooter home through the dark streets of Smallish City shortly before midnight. Along every block of downtown, block after block, youngish people were pouring out into the streets, laughing, hooting, howling, jumping up and down. It looked, pretty much, as if the Red Sox had just won the World Series-- except that instead of screaming "Red Sox, #1!", they were screaming "Obama won! Obama is our next president!". Several of them approached me at stop lights to shout the news, in case I hadn't heard. One fellow jumped off the sidewalk and held up his hand to give me a flying high-five as I sped by. It was quite a scene.

I'm proud that young people, minority people, unwealthy people, female people-- in short, the previously disenfranchised people-- of this country turned out to elect this man. I am proud, and hopeful, and excited. I got out of bed (yes, I had already voted) and I'm not moving to Canada (quite yet.)

But when I look at the breakdown in the voting statistics (and you know I can't resist such things), I get uneasy and feel alienated. If this election had been left to people in any one way visibly like me-- Caucasian, or over 40, or male, or in my tax bracket* (let alone all of those combined), Obama would have been handily defeated. This makes me feel ever more the oddity-- a person who doesn't resemble the crowd he supports, and doesn't agree with the crowd he resembles. Sometimes I wonder if this is just a stupid personality trait of mine, this refusal to go with the flow, to do what I'm supposed to. I don't know.

I console myself with thinking that if anyone collected data on the presidential preference of "People from households with one or more cats", that might show a different pattern. Also of some consolation is that the income bracket above me actually voted for Obama. There is some hope.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

13-cat household with one white male over 40, one white female over 40, one 19-year-old female (and 17 and 12). Top 10% of income (which isn't that high, unfortunately), professional, college-educated, one of us self-employed. Obama. 3 votes.

We're hopeful of positive change.

11/5/08, 9:57 AM  
Blogger Novalis said...

Racism made the race closer than it should have been given the legacy of the past eight years.

Yes, our household taxes may go up--but at some point you get what you pay for.

11/5/08, 10:02 AM  
Blogger brushfiremedia said...

It's hard to truly judge what effect racism had on the outcome, I believe. Maybe it had a dramatic effect, but according to exit polling, Obama got the highest percentage of the white-vote-for-a-democrat (43%, tied with Clinton in 96) in 32 years. Would he have gotten more if he wasn't black? I don't know.

I do know that I'm proud of what this country has just done. Regardless.

11/5/08, 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Turbomom said...

I think white males over 40 who have lived in the cities and towns that you have lived in probably voted overwhelming for Obama.

11/12/08, 4:27 PM  

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