Tuesday, January 12, 2016

12. Still fascinated by it all

Even though it’s been a political season full of Trumpisms, Cruz chest thumping, emails, the political hunger games, refugee denials, and just lots of other crap, I still love the political process. I’m writing this about 30 minutes before President Obama’s final State of the Union address. I’m excited to listen and take it all in.

Yes, I’m a Democrat and yes, I’ll probably cheer most of the things he says, but even when George Bush was president, I still liked seeing the pomp and circumstance of it all play out. I like pointing out Senators, Representatives, Dignitaries, Supreme Court Justices, and other notable figures that comes along. I love the guests of honor. (I tear up when I hear their stories.)

The first political memory I have was during the 1992 presidential election. I remember George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot debating on stage. I don’t remember what was being said, but I think I said that I wanted Perot to win. I remember pouring over all the results in the Pioneer Press newspaper the day after the 1996 election. I think that was the year I also saw Al Gore and Paul Wellstone speak at a Labor Day picnic on Harriet Island.

I stayed up late to watch the results after the 2000 election, wondering whether Bush or Gore was going to win and I read the newspaper every day to figure out what was going to happen.

In high school, my roommate Greg and I started a current events discussion group during weekend brunch. It was fun until a bunch of teachers who didn’t know when to let students talk started to dominate the conversation.

I once supported John Edwards, wow was that a bad idea. I loved John Kerry. I know people thought of him as an elitist snob, but tell me, how many presidents haven’t been rich? Seriously, basically all of them make way more money than the average person.

The year 2008 was one of the most memorable for me. I knocked on hundreds of doors and organized numerous events in support of candidates. I went to district, congressional, and state conventions. (Funnily enough, I never actually made any phone calls. Mainly because I hate making phone calls. Doorknocking was much more my style. Watching Obama’s acceptance speech in town at Sal’s Bar was one of the most memorable nights I had in college.

I didn’t do much in 2012, but it was the first election where I voted in a state other than Minnesota. It was fun to vote in Massachusetts.

I’m actually surprised my faith and love of professional sports has waivered much quicker than my passion for the political process. I feel like it’s the opposite for most people. I’m just getting back into the West Wing and I am midway through the second season.

I still sometimes think about a worksheet that I did in second grade where I said I would like to be a United States Senator. I still think it would be a cool job.

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