As I'm sitting here in my newspaper office, waiting for election results to come in, I'm thinking back to the past three congressional elections:
2000-I was in the mountains of North Carolina, wondering how I was going to ever make a living in anything but waiting tables. I went to my polling place, which was also my elementary school as a kid, and cast my ballot. I watched the results through the night, and when it was announced somewhere after midnight that Bush had won Florida, I fell asleep, thinking it was all over. I awoke about 4am, to hear the news that Gore was challenging the call in Florida, and the rest is convoluted history.
Unbeknownst to me, my future wife was in the next county over, sleeping soundly, having decided that the election that year wasn't going to be "all that important."
2002-With war on everyone's mind, I wasn't sure what was going to happen on Election Day. It's traditional that the non-Presidential party picks up seats in the midterms, but it wasn't so this time. I was a little embittered the next day. The thing that gave me hope, though, was hearing "A Lincoln Portrait" by Copland on the radio as I was out driving around.
2004-Bush over Kerry. At least I had my son and wife.
I hope this year is more hopeful (at least from my vantage point) when all is said and done. In any case, I'm still here, and I am still an American, and damn proud of it.