And it was all for naught. Worse than that, it was a disaster. I should know enough to stay out of politics - that is, if I really want a candidate of my choice to win an election. I have voted in every presidential election (and in most mid-terms) since I first became eligible to vote in 1958. And not one of the presidential candidates I voted for - in my first three decades of going to the polls - won an election. Not until Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 did a candidate I favored actually win. (A colleague at the time said he hoped I’d vote for Clinton, because that would be a likely sign he’d lose.) I must be totally out of synch with the American public, or else my criteria differ from those of most folks when it comes to choosing public servants/officials.
After George Bush was elected in 2000, I was heart-sick; I had a bout of despair like I had not felt since Kennedy was shot. In a lament over the phone to my sister, I said (with the kind of understated sarcasm that few non-Midwesterners understand): “The American people finally got the president they so richly deserve.” I hope Sarah Palin doesn’t pull a George Bush. It could spell doom for our country as a significant world power. We might become the Great Britain of the Western Hemisphere, glorying in our past while drinking beer and watching our favorite entertainment.
In the 2008 primaries, I initially favored John Edwards, and when he left the race, I put my support (and money) behind Hillary Clinton. Of course, I voted for Barack Obama in the election, and was glad he won, but I was afraid he would get macerated by Washington politics. In this past (2010) election, I supported several upstanding candidates; two of them were defeated in the primary, including a prospective democrat who might have had a chance against Jim DeMint. I didn’t vote a straight ticket in that election; I don’t believe I ever have. But it was especially painful not to be able to vote for a viable democratic candidate for senator. Other excellent candidates for non-partisan offices were also defeated, and I wondered if that was because a great many of the voters simply pulled the straight-ticket lever.
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said something like: Democracy is a terrible form of government, but it’s better than anything else that’s been tried.* So I guess we’re stuck with it. But I think I’ll just try not to show enthusiasm for future political candidates. I don't want my support to be a curse.
*The actual quote is: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”