Pen poised

They call it the "November election," but here in Oregon the ballots will be mailed out starting a week from today. The skies are still blue, the forests are still burning, the baseball playoffs are just getting started, the furnace in the basement still hasn't come on, and it doesn't feel anything like November. But you can probably have your ballot all marked up and done by the end of next week, if that's what you want. I wouldn't blame you if you wanted the infernal thing out of your house. 

I doubt mine will go out that quickly. There's always some surprise or two on there, some race or issue that nobody was talking about, and there it is, and I've got to figure out which way to go. Maybe Bitchtucci will write it up. I'll probably let the form sit on the kitchen counter until the weekend before the mailing deadline. The results will be known, more or less, on that night, November 8. By then it will be Standard Time again.

Election Night used to be a lot of fun for me, but since the reign of Orange Caligula I look forward to it mostly with a sense of dread. With rare exception, the candidates are, well, bums. The ballot measures mostly scream stupidity. And what's going on with the mechanics of voting and elections around the country is massively depressing.

Maybe in 30 or 40 years the United States will emerge from its several current crises. Maybe between now and then the planet can be saved through some miracle or other. I won't get to see it, but maybe the many bright, highly motivated young people I know will get it done, for themselves and for their kids.

The politicians are always telling you that the taxes they're shaking you down for are "for the children," and that's usually a lie. But hold that sentiment for a second.  If I think about voting, not in terms of old-guy scores to settle, but instead in terms of opening doors for young people, maybe it can be more of a positive thing. Or so I will tell myself as I blacken the circles on the ballot. 

I never looked at it this way until now, but actuarially speaking, it's no longer mostly about me. I guess I am officially old. The hardest part is figuring out how to vote so that it sets the kids up for success, or at least gives them a shot at it. Something to ponder as the campaigns reach their terrible crescendi


  1. The O endorsed Salinas and McLeod-Skinner this morning. I didn't think they had it in them.

  2. One of them is going to lose. Maybe both.

  3. Haven’t seen a voters pamphlet

  4. It’ll be quite something if Oregon elects a Republican governor and fills one or two of its D congressional slots with Rs.


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