Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Get to Shout

For those of you that have read this blog before you will know that I posted one about having to whisper for the last eight years or be thought a traitor. Coming out as a Democrat was risky enough in my predominately Republican neighborhood and a definitely Republican county, but then to say I was for Barack Obama . . . well, I just figured I had lived a nice long life and if it was over I wanted to go out with a shout and not a whisper. And if McCain won I wanted to emigrate to another country.

So yesterday found me working as an Obama poll watcher in Angel Fire. I and the other volunteers recruited by the Obama campaign were there to insure that regardless of who won we could say this election, as opposed to the last two, was run and won fairly. I told myself that was all I wanted - fairness. The sweeping victory of Barack Obama was icing on the cake. I can now believe that America has a chance of reclaiming its position as a beacon of hope in the world.

Everyon can read the national coverage of this race. But I would like to say something about precinct 01B in Colfax county, New Mexico. There are approximately 1100 registered voters. Of those 1100 the poll judge believes approximately 200 need to be purged from the rolls. This is done through death, notification the person is now registered to vote elsewhere or if they miss voting in two presidential elections. Of the remaining 900 approximately 300 had voted early or by absentee. Before I left my post at four 519 had cast their vote. That is a damn nice turnout.

The poll challenger for Obama, watching all voting irregularities, called me after the final count to say that in our majority Republican precinct Obama had lost by only 34 votes. A lot of Republicans crossed party lines to vote for him and for our new Democratic Senator Tom Udall who carried the precinct. As thrilled as I am that my Red State turned Blue yesterday I am even happier that this election did not seem to be about party as much as it has under GW Bush. (mind you I am not moving to the deep south any time soon). Hopefully, this election will heal political divides that have separated this country for the last eight years, and that Barack Obama's election will heal the racial divides that McCain's base proved still exists among the Joe Six Packs of this nation.

And because Our President elect is a man who is willing to talk and not invade there is hope that we as citizens of the world can come together to address issues like global warming, the global economy, world peace, religious freedom.

But first given the mandate this election gave him, Barack Obama has to heal the wounds inflicted upon this country by the last 10 years of divisive politics. I have great hope that he can. Especially now that we are all allowed to talk outloud without fear of being sent to Gitmo.