Post Traumatic Voting Syndrome

LANTANA, FL — Recently, as I was speaking with other enlightened people, I mentioned my fear that Sen. John McCain would end up being declared victor of the upcoming election.

Really? One friend asked, You don’t think Obama can pull it off?

First, let me mention that this is a nonpartisan blog. My concerns about Sen. McCain are strictly because he’s a crazy, unprincipled war-monger who calls his wife a a see-you-next-Tuesday in public, and then hugs on current White House resident George Bush in public.

And second let me clarify my concern about the election has less to do with whether Sen. Obama can pull it off, as it has with whether Palm Beach County can.

I went to vote today, something I haven’t been able to do since 2000 without a sickening sense of trepidation revisiting me.

I remember the unsettled feeling I had that something wasn’t right when I looked at the ballot that day. I remember the odd feeling that I had gotten it wrong somehow as I left the polling place. I remember what happened that night, and over the next 37 days, but I’ve lost track of the carnage that followed — the more than 4,000 American men and women sent to their deaths in Iraq, the how many others whose country it was, the maimed, the death tolls from other needless disasters that were this country’s price for having the most ignorant guy at the corner bar named president.

I remember, though, a part of that day nearly eight years ago that was simply poignant, and it concerned my dear friend, for whom this blog is named, who had just become a citizen and ran off that day first thing, eager to cast her first American ballot.

“It was a little confusing,” she said plaintively, later. Well, yes. It was very confusing, as the mostly Jewish retirees of Whisper Walk in suburban Delray Beach who inexplicably cast their votes for neo-antisemite Pat Buchanan that day could certainly tell you. But my friend Helen was a master proofreader, whose focused stare never missed a misplaced comma. If she was confused, everyone else was bamboozled. Sadly, she has since become a citizen of a higher plane, having left us here to deal with our earthly errors last May, when she lost her fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But I wondered what she’d think of this, today, which yes, a poll worker had to explain:

And for that matter, I wondered what she’d think of this:

The puzzle there, if you look at it closely, being is the nickname “The Real” on the right the same kind of nickname as “Chris” in the ballot on the left, or did someone sneak a bit of electioneering into the polling place, where they handed this out?

I guess they think if you make it this far, you can figure the rest of it out.

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One Response

  1. I just want to know where you got that hug photo. Beautiful!

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