Friday, November 2, 2012

[Voting, Ferries, Sandy, Confusion]

 In mild depression and scatteredness, I write this blog.

The ferries are allowing non-residents back on Hatteras Island. I thought about returning today, but investigated the situation and discovered the normally 2-3 hour trip was taking 8-10 hours. And this was before they lifted the restrictions, when they were only allowing certain people back. So today it will be even worse.

Instead of an arduous journey at the end of an an arduous month, I've decided to rest in Virginia Beach for a few more days. I'm going to volunteer with the Obama campaign, since it's the end of the election and Virginia is a swing state. I stopped at the headquarters yesterday and the girl in charge told me that they have a hard time getting people to knock on doors. They are only visiting prior supporters, but people who vote sporadically. I've done this before and it was fine. I enjoy taking part in the political process rather than standing back and seeing what happens.

Being in New Zealand during the last presidential election was much less stressful and I didn't miss being subjected to the political ads. However, since I don't watch TV, and only listen to the radio in the car, it is pretty easy to avoid them here, but the climate of polarity and venomous hatred toward people who think differently permeates the air anyway, and I feel bodily ill at moments. What has our country turned into?

Sometimes I daydream of living somewhere else, to escape the insanity that is America. Hoards of uneducated uncaring citizens. Shooting each other for stepping on property. Hate based on race or sex or gender choices.

But then I meet people who really care. People who are passionate about things like I am. I think maybe it's ok. I've never been one to abandon my American-ness, even when I felt we were doing stupid things. When God gives you a difficult kid, you don't leave 'em on the side of the road. I don't want to do that with my country either.

Also I'm concerned that I might not get to vote. The only way I can vote is to make the 10 hour trip to the Outer Banks. I could have registered to vote in VA or in NC based on my residency but I chose NC since I was going to be there this week during elections. I could've requested an absentee ballot but the deadline for that was last week during the Sandy Hurricane. So I missed everything. I'd read all about the voter laws in both states and still got confused. This coming from a highly motivated, educated person. If I'm this confused, I can only imagine that there's millions of others in my shoes. So many new voting laws present a massive wall to voting.

But I am making my own personal effort today and for the next few days, to impact the election.

Last of all, today is the day my dad died. Twenty-nine years ago. It still bothers me. It always will. So I decided I would keep my dad in my mind as I go door-to-door, interacting with strangers. I'll make this effort in his memory. I know he would be proud.

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