Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Goodbye Ann

Back on Election Day 1994, I sat in my car outside my polling place in Houston and cried. I had had one of those impossibly busy days when everything seemed to work against me. I hadn’t been able to go and vote before work because I had three children to get to school and then my to-do list at work was not only huge, but being added to every 10 minutes. So, I decided I’d just hit the polls after work. But I didn’t get out of work until late which meant a frantic dash to pick up my girls and then I had to track down my son, who was at a friend’s house working on a group project for school. By the time I found the classmate’s house, it was dangerously close to 7 pm and of course, my son still had to gather his gear. With the kids in the car and rain coming down, I made a frantic dash to my precinct polling place. But it was 2 minutes after 7:00 when I finally arrived and I was too late. So, I wept.

Given the outcome of that night, chances are my one vote probably wouldn’t have helped. But I still feel that I let Ann and my fellow Texans down. My feelings that night weren’t helped by the comment made by Michael’s classmate’s mom when I explained to her I couldn’t stay and talk as I was afraid I’d be too late to cast my vote for Ann. The mom, a rather rabid Republican, expressed her hope that I would indeed be too late to vote. (This is one of the reasons I will never convert to being a Republican. Too many of the ones I know wallow in meanness and intolerance.)

So, Ann, I’m sorry. I let you down and the end result is a president who measures patriotism, not by actual love of and support of this country, but love of and support of himself. He has confused respect for the office with respect for him. You never made that mistake.

I wish you could have had that second term as governor. And I wish that you were still with us, talking sense and taking the air out of those who believe just because someone voted for them must mean they are set above the rest of us. You always knew that wasn’t the case. You always knew we voted for you because you were one of us.