Thursday, October 16, 2008

Got Out And Voted

I just voted.

Just now. I just filled in my absentee ballot and sealed the envelope. Tomorrow I'll give it to the woman codenamed 'The Librarian' at the U.S. Consular Agency here in Salvador, where it will go via diplomatic pouch to Florida, where it gets dumped into the regular mail and eventually wends its way to Massachusetts.

I'm not going to be coy about it, I voted for Obama. And although I'm not as Obama crazy as some people in my family (you know who you are, family) I very very very much want him to win and for that reason am going through the hoops necessary to get this ballot off.

Not that my vote makes any difference- it makes no difference at all, except for the fact that I want to be able to say that I voted for the first African American president. Massachusetts is not a swing state by any stretch of the imagination (tonight I voted for John Kerry for senator on the same ballot fercryinoutloud) and I've used that excuse not to vote in the last couple elections- the electoral college doesn't care who I vote for. Massachusetts is a given.

I voted in this election for me, and I voted for my son. Here in Brazil, Obama would be considered 'mixed race' and not simply 'black,' because there isn't as sharp a dividing line between white and black here. Every time I look at Obama I think about my son, who has a heritage as strange and... colorful... as Obama's. White European post-hippie middle class father from New England, black Brazilian nominally catholic mother with a very humble background in the periphery of Salvador.

Anyhow, every time I write a post like this, that starts to get serious about something, that cries out for a swelling orchestral soundtrack, I end up not publishing it. So I'm not going to get all heavy and philosophical about this. I've said what I'm going to say about race and change and all that, except for one more thing: I want Obama to win because at least one thing will change, at least one barrier will be broken, and that's the world I want my son to grow up in.

All that being said, I wish the election were over already. Evani's getting sincerely bothered at my involvement in it and so am I. I'm starting to feel like McCain, all twitchy and agitated. Good luck to you, Mr. Obama, and do right by us when you get in there.

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