Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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It's Election Day!

Today I received an envelope in the mail from the brilliant and beautiful spiritofnow, who lives in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, I received only an envelope. The top flap of the envelope was taped closed, and when I removed the tape I was surprised to find that the envelope shows no sign of having ever possessed any of its own adhesive for sealing itself. (spiritofnow has since informed me that this is not evidence of tampering - the envelope indeed did not come with its own adhesive, and she taped it.) I then additionally noticed that the left side of the envelope showed no sign of ever having been glued together either - as though spiritofnow had sealed a letter into a defective envelope whose left side was wide open.

There was nothing inside. spiritofnow seems to think that the envelope came open by accident because it wasn't really big enough to hold the booklet inside it that she was sending to me - the booklet was a collection of letters translated from Urdu that were addressed to "Dear Uncle Sam," asking Uncle Sam why he keeps bombing people. chisparoja thinks I should make a statement here anyway just in case there are F.B.I. members opening all mail betwee Pakistan and the U.S. and getting interested enough in what was sent to me to come read my journal afterward. So:

Hello, F.B.I.! Have fun wasting your time reading my mail! You won't get any useful information from me, because the whole point of being an antiwar activist in the first place is that I'm opposed to violence, including to bombs supposedly designed to "liberate" people like the ones the U.S. is dropping on Iraq! And you also won't get any useful random dirt on me that you could use to throw me in jail for ostensibly apolitical reasons, because I'm the straightedgest of all the straightedge people there've ever been! Really I don't even much care whether you read my mail or not, but I do wish you would kindly put it back into the envelope when you're done and correctly reseal all sides of the envelope that you steamed open, so that I get to read my own mail too!

Ahem. That's enough talking to the F.B.I. for today. In other news, I voted today. So if Leonard Peltier becomes the next president of the U.S., it's all my doing.

The polls were more crowded than usual, even though I went at a less popular time of day than I would have if I still had a job. It is especially good that more people were coming, because my precinct is very poor and can be presumed to be very left-wing. They've changed the ballots around again - for years we always voted with punch cards here, until in the primaries this year we voted with school-style scantron sheets. This time it was still a matter of filling in bubbles with a pen, but the ballots were redesigned so the text of the questions is printed on them now instead of just rows and rows of bubbles with no text. Also there was a machine right there at the polls that we fed our ballots into ourselves, and it displayed how many people had voted so far. It said I was the 77th voter of the day, at 9:30 a.m. And there was a South Asian looking man in a turban, probably Sikh, who was working at the polls, whose job was to supervise the feeding of finished ballots into this machine. I immediately envisioned white Republican voters throwing a fit aabout how the election was being jeopardized by a supposed follower of Osama bin Laden. Thankfully, there aren't too many white Republican voters in my precinct anyway. Oh, and then as I was leaving, the man in a turban went out to his car to get something, and his car turned out to be an SUV. So I figured he could just show the white Republican voters his SUV and they'd be reassured.

No matter who wins, I'll be glad it's over, just so we can get back to focusing on what actually needs to be done, which means either pressuring Congress to impeach Bush for his war crimes, or protesting John Kerry's plan to keep bombing Iraq. And for all you people who want to say, "But the U.S. shouldn't just leave Iraq now that it's made a mess of things! It needs to stay and fix the mess it's made!" I answer: Yes, of course the U.S. should fix the mess it's made of things, but I'm not convinced that continuing to fill Iraq with ever more radioactive depleted uranium that will give children cancer for the next 4.5 billion years is any closer to "fixing" things than just leaving entirely.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude, not only to all the frustrated third-party voters who read my journal and reassure me that I'm not the only one frustrated, but also to all the Kerry voters who've acknowledged Kerry's faults, acknowledged the validity of other people's decisions that differ from their own, and generally exhibited an exemplary ability to recognize that the 50% of the country voting for Bush is the problem Democrats need to focus on, not the 2% of the country voting for third party candidates. You helped make an otherwise bitter and divisve campaign season tolerable for me.

But my own vote does not go to John Kerry, and the reason for that is that I vividly remember the profound betrayal I felt when all those Democrats in Congress voted to authorize Bush to invade Iraq. Although I can accept and understand the fact that other people feel the need to vote for John Kerry, I said on that say that no one who authorized such a mass murder would ever get my vote for anything again, and they have not and they will not. It's simply not a forgiveable or compromiseable issue for me. My Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, voted against the war, and I gave her my vote today. My Democratic Representative, Robert Matsui, voted against the war and I gave him my vote today as well. My other Democratic Senator, Dianne Feinstein, voted to authorize Bush to commit mass murder, and I will never vote for her ever again. John Kerry and John Edwards voted to authorize Bush to commit mass murder as well, and I will never vote for either of them for anything. If they wanted my vote, then they should have given me their votes on the invasion of Iraq. They didn't, and the only way I have of holding them accountable is to refuse to vote for them, so I do refuse. (And I have the good fortune to live in a safe state, which makes that decision a particularly easy one to make.)

And if worst comes to worst and we find out at the end of the day today that Bush has won, kindly don't kill yourselves. I know lots of you will be newly buried under crushing misery and depression if that happens, but I won't be nearly as buried as most of you, because I've had months and months of getting used to an already existing misery over the fact that I find both candidates absolutely intolerable. So that means I'll probably be better able to immediately focus on practical ways of focusing rage on Bush than those of you who are more newly crushed. If Bush wins, come to my journal, and I'll take responsibility for providing you with a list of reasons to go on living and fighting to get him impeached like he should have been in the first place. Okay? I accept that responsibility. But in return, if Kerry wins, I hold you all responsible for keeping your pledges to protest against his hawkish actions to just as much of an extent as you would have protested if Bush took the same actions.
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