Thursday November 8, 2012

So...that was close!

I know a lot of people are all "politicked" out, but seriously people, all I can say is, whew!

Before I begin my rant, let me state this: I know that there people in the world who think differently than I do. I am aware that over the course of my life, I will meet people I don't get along with, yet will have to work with in order to accomplish things.

If you think you might be one of those people, maybe you should turn the page. This column might not be for you.

I never considered myself very political, but it turns out that when it comes to women's rights and LGBT equality, I am actually a liberal she-beast, ready to plan a counterattack at a moment's notice.

I spent most of Tuesday night at my workplace, taking deep yoga breaths and thinking to myself, "If I'm this on-edge for a presidential election, what am I going be like years from now if I'm in the delivery room without some sort of Planned Parenthood support?"

Because people, that kind of support was dangerously close to being lost.

My anxiety started during my vacation, when I was supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my time off, yet made the mistake of thinking I could do so in a swing state, Florida, two weeks before a very polarized election.

I watched the last two debates, yelling at the television screen and shaking my head in disbelief. I found myself continuously talking about what was at stake and probably annoying the heck out of the people who surrounded me.

I saw political ad after political ad for Mitt Romney. During every commercial break, I saw his face at least twice. Oddly, during our entire time there, we saw maybe 15 Obama ads, tops.

It got so bad that one night, my fairly politically neutral boyfriend angrily changed the channel and said, "I've seen this jerk's face more since we've been in Florida than I ever did in Massachusetts!"

Not to call Mr. Romney a jerk or anything (That's what Facebook is for), but seriously dude.

Imagine if BOTH parties saved all that campaign money and funneled it into something more productive?

What if the American people actually took the time to do research and background checks on the people who are supposed to lead them, instead of just listening to political propaganda being fed to them by the very people vying for their votes?

Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where people were responsible enough to take the future of their country seriously?

I cannot tell you how many people I came across who told me they just "didn't vote." Some said they didn't like either candidate (btw, there are more than two out there), others that they weren't "very political."

Hey, whatever. It's a free country after all. You wanna throw away a right that men and women have fought and some laid down their lives for? By all means, have at it.

I will never understand the argument of not being political. It's 2012 and I'm still having to fight for my gender to get equal pay and have the right to say what happens to our own bodies!

There are people I love, who happen to love someone of their own gender, who are still fighting for the right to marry each other!

I have to be political! It's no longer a civic duty. It's a moral one.

So as I sat, watching the country teeter on the brink of what I felt could be the kickoff of Armageddon, I had to ask myself, "What am I going to do if this guy actually becomes my president?"

I love my country and so do other voters, even when their vote goes against mine. But is this man's vision of America one I want to live in?

The answer was such a big, fat NO that when it finally flashed on the screen that Barack would be having a second term, I actually began to cry. The tears were not just for me, but for my nieces, my future daughters and my future self.

And can we talk for a minute about Elizabeth Warren, not only taking the U.S. Senate seat, but also being the first woman in Massachusetts history to do so? I am so happy to have this lady in my corner!

I went to bed Tuesday night exhausted, slightly bleary-eyed and without the unsettled feeling that had been gnawing at me for the past six months.

So now, with all of this behind us, I'd like to leave you with the words of our re-elected president:

"We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

"That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty."

And isn't that a beautiful thing?

Write to Amanda Marcisz
at readers@berkshireeagle.com