This December will mark two years since I was laid-off from my job doing graphics & communications for the political arm of the labor movement in West Virginia. If you've read this blog for a while, it will come as no surprise that I am still bitter over losing that job, which I adored. Am I happier now? Very much so, and I love being home with my kids. But still.
I was very involved in politics and I busted my butt during that election, only to have Bush and his fellow Republicans sweep the country. A week later, I was told that I'd be losing my job in a month. I walked away and I left politics behind. I was disgusted. All of that hard work for nothing. Very few victories, even at the state level. Any personal pride I had in the work I'd done was erased when I was let go, even though the layoff was not due to my performance, but rather to the organization's finances. And mismanagement. Oh, was that sour grapes? Sorry. But still.
I didn't even vote in the primary. Truthfully, I forgot. It's amazing to me now that I'm a member of the "general public" how far removed I am from the process. Without even trying, I am barely aware of what's happening during election time.
But I remembered yesterday, so I loaded the kids up and went to the polling place. I put Sophie in her sling on my shoulder, took Izzy by the hand, and did my civic duty. I voted straight Democrat. The only other time I've done that was by accident the first time I ever voted. But I skimmed over the short list of candidates and realized that not only was there no Republicans I wanted to vote for this time, there was only one Democrat running that I actively disliked, and I certainly didn't dislike her enough to warrant fighting two wiggly kids to vote against her. So I colored in one oval and left.
Now tonight I am awash in conflicting emotions. Apathy is struggling mightily with exhilaration. Democrats have taken the Senate. Democrats have taken the House. There is a majority of Democratic governors now, and Rumsfeld resigned. I truly don't feel like I closely align with the Democratic party line anymore, but I'm certainly closer to their ideology than the Republicans. But I am thrilled that the country has sent this strong message to the President.
In the end, will the Democrat's victory across the board matter? Will the country see any real results? This is where the apathy starts to creep back in, and I'm forced to admit that I'm doubtful.