Voting: A Romance

I walked into my local middle school to vote this morning. It wasn't too crowded, although it was definitely busier than usual. The table for my precinct was being worked by the expected elderly local residents, the typical rainbow that makes up my neighborhood, an Indian man, a Hispanic woman, and a Chinese man. I heard the Chinese man speak fluent Spanish, English, and, well, Mandarin in the ten minutes I was in line.

There were more mothers there with their little girls than I've ever seen. They took their daughters into the voting booth, and I knew exactly what the grown-ups were doing: making sure their children know that you can actually vote for a woman for president, a woman who will likely win. She'll certainly win this state.

After I voted, and I'm one of those geeky voters who has some idea about the down ballot elections and the referendums, I walked out of the booth. I asked the old Indian man for a sticker, and he laughed. "We don't have stickers," he said. "You know you voted." He was right. I didn't need to show off (but I kind of wanted the sticker).

I'm fairly sure that Hillary Clinton is going to win tonight. I have to believe that, in total, we're a smarter nation than one that would elect Donald Trump. But we're dumb enough to have nominated him.

Yes, we can say that we did our part, we who voted, to save nearly half of the United States from itself. But what comes next, after the election, after the hangover, aches with the nausea of uncertainty. Will we be able to vomit out the poison in our system, or will we just go on as usual, hoping we can build a tolerance like we have so many elections before?