I went to vote today, more out a sense of duty than any political leanings (I'm Republican, thanks for asking) or thinking that my one vote will sway things nationally or even locally. Besides the state and national offices, we only had one ballot question, about amending the home rule charter in Norristown so that bid procedures align with those of the Commonwealth (I voted yes), so I was quite surprised when I saw the line snaking down the school hallway and around the corner. Most elections we're in and out in five minutes. Not until I get about halfway up the line do I discover why it's taking so long. Apparently the board of elections in its infinite wisdom hired "a worker that didn't know how to alphabetize"--the words of the woman in charge, not me.
For a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?
Never mind. I kept a civil tongue in my head, wondering if the words I'd heard were real. I made it up to the table and realized I hadn't seen any of these people before. All new workers for a presidential election. Hmm.
As I was leaving, I saw a colleague from Warminster Symphony and chatted it up with him about the day and about things musical. He was there to supervise his students with their bake sale. Two men approached the bake sale table and asked the kids if they could put their signs up. The kids, not knowing any better, said sure. When I told the men that they should check with the elections officials about where they should put their signs, I was met with vitriol and disdain. Mr. Vietnam Vet told me that following the rules is "old school" (which would explain why he dodged the draft NOT). He started yelling at me, asking me where I went to school and a lot of unrelated questions. Walking away seemed the better part of valor, so I did.
This country has a lot more problems than who's living in the White House, but I did my part to take care of that one. Nonetheless, I don't think things are going to change. To quote the late David Brinkley in speaking of the re-nomination of then-President Clinton, we're going to have "four more years of goddamned nonsense".
*--Robert Lamm, Chicago V, 1972.