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.