After Election Day 2006"Democrats Projected to Sweep Congress, "Democrats Win Control of Congress," "Sen. Burns Concedes Montana Race," "Dems Plan to Force Change in Iraq Policy," " Virginia Win Gives Democrats the Senate ," "Pelosi Says Democrats Are Ready to Lead." These headlines give me goosebumps. When I read the articles, I get a chill. This is a clear sign that America is not happy about how our country has been run. I heard a radio clip of a man in the south who said that he had voted republican since he was old enough to vote, but that this year he voted straight democrat. I did a double take yesterday when George Bush actually admitted that (he and) his administration have made mistakes.
I hope this is a sign that we will be moving in a different direction.
The elections are always very emotional for me. I can't stand listening to the opponent basking in his or her victory. On election night 2004 I was with a group of friends watching the results come in. We watched the results until about 11pm. By then, South Dakota Senator (democrat) Tom Daschle (who was Senate Majority Leader) had lost to John Thune and the map appeared to be mostly red. I remember waking up the day after election day with the television on (a bit hungover) and seeing that John Kerry had conceded. I went to work that morning and cried off and on all day. I started researching jobs abroad immediately. I did not want to be a part of this country at all.
Although the war and numerous scandals seemed to be the most important issue in this year's election (they ARE very important), the most important issue for me was abortion. I don't believe that the government can tell me what I can or can't do with my own body, what is right or wrong for me. South Dakota has rejected a measure that would have outlawed abortion under any circumstances.
Whether or not the initiative was rejected because of its "extreme" nature (it did not offer exceptions in instances of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger) is not important right now. Pro-Lifers expected an immediate appeal to an earlier abortion ban but that went wrong when activists got a petition to force the initiative onto the ballot. Pro-Lifers will have to come up with another strategy which will have to go before a now-democratic Congress. After the votes were counted, Pro-Lifers said that voters were confused because they thought they were voting "no" for the initiative when supporting it meant voting yes. Or, voters are smarter than they think and they really did reject it. Oregon and California also rejected measures for parental notification of teen girls' abortions.
Finally, it seems I am becoming proud of America again.... Until I read quotes like this one in an article from CNN.com:
"The church teaches it's wrong to kill no matter what," said 39-year-old Martha Fiegen, a Sioux Falls home maker who voted in favor of the ban. "I believe life is sacred and every life is worth living."
Interesting. She voted to potentially kill the mother. I wonder if she actually read her voter pamphlet. If her daughter became pregnant and her life was in danger, would she really CHOOSE to force her daughter to die?
Yesterday during lunchtime I spoke with my mom who claims and talks as if she is a staunch republican (which is ironic because my grandfather- who is democrat- ran for public office in the 1990s and she was his biggest supporter... it's something my grandfather and I can't explain.) She hadn't even heard any results from ANY elections. I cannot talk to her about politics because I get too emotional, defensive and angry which makes our conversations worthless. I guess when I haven't talked to my mother in a while, I would like to talk about my family instead of arguing about politics and then being all fired up. I also don't want to waste time talking to people who have not done their non-partisan research and questioned EVERYTHING about what they have heard, whether from the media or from their friends.
I would like my readers to know that I don't claim a political party. I identify with democrats because of issues like abortion, gay marriage and war. Because they don't preach religion or follow their leader blindly. They challenge authority and encourage change.