Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day has come and gone...

I realize as I type, running on adrenaline because of the lack of sleep the last few days, I just might not make any sense. But in any case, I do have to say that I am looking forward to a new presidency. I find myself in an obvious minority who don't hate President Bush or think of him as the worst president in our history. I believe that time will tell whether or not his popularity, or lack thereof, was warranted.

This was my first election to vote in. (I voted on Halloween.) I'm a bit touchy on that subject because the last election I was registered and ready to vote and then I never received my absentee ballot in Germany. And neither did a LOT of people. Anyways, I felt a rush of different emotions as I cast my very first vote. I was fully planning on voting for McCain. Up until the day before, I was pretty decided and excited to go cancel my sister's vote that she had just cast. And then, I looked at Obama from a different perspective, a view I had been avoiding. Sure, I had a lot of hangups with the guy...but mainly because of a few very liberal views that I was pretty conservative on.

And I took into account Sarah Palin having a special needs baby at home, and I couldn't vote to take his mother away from him more than she already would be as governor of one of our smallest -population-wise, states. It went against my family values that I hold dear.

I took into account family members, older and wiser than me, who were seeking a change. And I remembered my pledge to vote for the guy who helped pass the new GI Bill for post 9/11 OIF/OEF veterans that directly affects my life today. I was shocked it wasn't McCain.

So I voted Obama. I filled in the bubble. I filled in for the representatives in Congress I wanted. I turned in my vote and went back to my car.

And I cried.

Not because I felt patriotic, but because I acted on an impulse, and I wasn't sure I was right. I begged Ryan, who had pretty much chosen to not vote because he didn't like the idea of either guy being his commander-in-chief to go cancel my vote. Which he did, an hour before the polls closed. Isn't he a great husband?

Anyways, as the day went on after casting my vote, I realized I didn't have to be scared. We have a democracy set up of checks and balances. And then, the inital feeling like I had betrayed every Republican that breathed passed, and I relaxed and started to get excited. I'll never be able to explain how my fear changed to excitement. And then the rollercoaster began, the endless debating. I supported McCain until 5 days before Election Day. And then things were pointed out to me. And I was willing to listen open-minded.

Then I felt a surge of patriotism as I came to the conclusion that I didn't really care who became president. I voted! I made a statement, even in haste. This country is the greatest country in the world. Even at our worst, we are still pretty darn great! I love being an American. I am grateful for my citizenship. I will never take my freedoms for granted. I may not be a liberal Democrat. And I'm not an extreme conservative Republican. I lean to the right mostly, but can see some good liberal concepts. Imperfect as our government may be, our country has spoken.

And I was a part of it.


Ingelheim Five said...

Oh Anna...I hope this country is prepared for what it has invited to the White House AND both houses of Congress....
I am proud to keep my McCain sticker on my car.

Anonymous said...

Anna! You have no idea how much I love you for your patriotism and for you being you. This election is monumental. I am actually borderline very liberal...but being married to the military I have tamed some of my views (this I am sure you already know). It makes my heart sing and soar when people use the rights that our husbands and many other women's husbands past, present and future have fought for for so long. However, it breaks my heart into two when people jump to conclusions and say things like, "I'm fearful for America" or "I am leaving the country." I don't think that they realize how lucky we are to be living where we are and how we are. In some countries, those simple statements of "fearful for our country", "I'm leaving the country", "what has the country done?" and "I don't support the president" are considered treason and punishment for that is death. They should be greatful for their rights and not abuse them. A lot of countries aren't as fortunate as we are. In my not so brief opinion, if people want to leave our beautiful country...go a head. There are many of us who will take care of it and cherish it. When they realize that living somewhere else isn't all that great...well...I will be here open armed to welcome them back. And I won't say, I told you so. I obviously have tons to say, but I am still so very overwhelmed with my love for this country and how far we have come as a nation, that I will have to wait until tonight to blog. But I am definitely blogging about this historical event.

God Bless America!

Team Obama!

Anna Allred said...

Well, I wouldn't wish anyone to leave, and I don't think it's unpatriotic to be seriously disappointed and even a bit fearful if you have strong conservative convictions, which I do more than I thought because of my leftover guilt.

BUT- I think this was inevitable. And I think one of his big selling points -bringing the troops home- is going to be MUCH harder than he thinks. When he gets the top secret information, he will realize something McCain already knew. We can't pull out as fast as liberals want him to. And then he will have to face the harsh scrutiny and bias that President Bush has been subjected to these last few years.

I'm not afraid, because I think there is a plan. I know there is a plan and somehow this fits into that plan. I like what I read on Sister Sowards blog- we don't have to change the world, we just have to focus on the small part of the world we are in and make that part better.

Perhaps I am more Republican than I think, but I think fresh ideas might allow room to put a spin on old ideas and find a compromise. I realize in my non-political education that I probably sound very naive and ignorant. But I have to believe that most of Congress is there to do what is right. There are some shady characters, for sure. But so long as we are a democracy, and there are 50 million registered voters who are conservative, a slight minority, our government is not going to fall.

Kris said...

Anna, I believe how you voted is a personal matter. Personally, I cannot vote for a party who supports abortion, same sex marriage and stem cell research on aborted fetuses let a lone late term abortions. I do think the fact that you took it so seriously and thoughtful even though impulsive, you are one who will never take it for granted. You have sacrificed too much to do that. I would have been sad if Ryan hadn't voted because he has fought in a war where the right to vote became possible due to your sacrifices as a family and the lives of the fallen, some of whom you guys knew personally. My worry is that Obama is young and idealistic and unproven. He will be a good leader if he has good people around him. I also believe time and history prove our leaders decisions to be good or bad. Let history decide. However, moral values and moral codes are not usually recorded in the history books. Did you ever wonder what was in the bill that McCain couldn't support the military benefits package? The peace that came to me in the days following was the fact that I know this is a chosen land and God has his eye on it.

Alysha Smith said...

I cried the morning after the election. I am no longer just voting my future anymore, I am voting for the future of my daughter and a future generation. I was sad by the result of the election not because I was McCain's biggest fan, but because I am fearful of the direction this new President may take this country, and the mistakes he will make especially due to his lack of experience.
No President is perfect but I will always respect George W. Bush for making his decisions with conviction and with his heart, not just advisers and polls.
I have always been passionate about politics, its in my blood, but now because I have a child it has so much more meaning.
I feel we are such a blessed country and with the right to vote comes responsibilities of educating ourselves before we vote. You will never completely agree with a candidate so you have to choose the candidate who shares your views the most, the views that mean the most to you.

daveandraechel said...

As a history teacher, I finally understand the importance of voting- especially as a woman. How amazing that women had to fight so hard for the right to vote, and so I wanted my students, especially my girls to do what we all should do. In our apt. complex we split up the propositions (out here in CA) and talked about them for a big FHE. At 29, I think this was the first election I really felt completely informed and voted on more things than I usually do. I voted for McCain, but I don't think that Obama will ruin the country either...