My theme is fun, fabulous and frightening and this event falls into the frightening category. I give you #2. The 2004 election.
Given that it is Independence Day, it seemed appropriate to highlight the day that my feelings about this country changed. I went to bed that Tuesday in November with faith in this country and I woke up in a changed place. For days after that election, I could not speak of it without crying. The idea that 50% of this country voted for such a braindead, corrupt scumbag (see the petition to the right) speaks volumes about how out of touch I am, how incredibly sheltered I am in my little world.
With this election came the idea of the "liberal elite"--the Starbucks drinking, overly educated, upper middle class, Bohemian Bourgeoisie. Am I really that out of touch with the values the rest of this country apparently espouse? A lot of reading ensued--"What's the Matter with Kansas" (what, indeed?). The idea that there were thousands of people in the middle of the country who thought Bush's agenda was A-ok frightened me beyond belief. Very few (educated) people I know would vote for him, so who were these people? How could this country really be that divided?
It was a divisive election, one that polarized our union into the Reds and Blues and for me, it was a flashbulb memory, a day etched into my psyche. I lost a lot of faith that day, in my home state of OH (So Goes the Nation) and in my country. This was not the country I learned about in Third Grade Social Studies. This is not the land o' the free and the home of the brave. More like the land o' the scary religious zealots and the home of the inbred. Who are we? Do we Blues need to secede? Can't we all just get along?
The 2006 election did restore some of my faith, but my foundation was shaken. I will never fully recover. For a long time I was passionless. I did not read the news. My feeling was, what's the point? We can't win. Slowly I have come back into the fold and rediscovered my vigor. I hope my 30's bring an even further renewed passion for my country, the will to keep fighting and (G-d willing) Obama as our new President.