Sorry to say, this is a rather gloomy post coming from a discouraged soul. The day began with high hopes. I had several things on my agenda and had a fairly decent night of sleep. My tasks for the day were to:
- Make an important phone call with huge future implications
- Pick up medications from my pharmacy
- Go and vote in the mid-term elections conducted in the US
There were lesser tasks that needed to be done, if not today, then soon:
- Get replacement cartridges for ink for my printer
- Prepare a Peapod order so I could have food delivered
- Select an iron from Amazon so that I could wear a nice dress shirt and tie for my friend, Kitt’s, memorial coming up on the 14th. (An iron is one of the items that hasn’t been replaced since my return to the US from England, and I only have one good dress shirt left — never mind the request was that we were invited to wear tye-dyed t-shirts in Kitt’s honor.)
All this to the backdrop of other bigger and lesser important tasks that await:
- My impending appointment in Baltimore for a possible corneal transplant on my left eye
- A second tooth that needs a crown, to the tune of $1,000+
- Setting my wristwatch, alarm clock, and other similar items to agree with the change in Daylight Savings Time over the weekend
- Figuring out what to do about the fact that my anxiety medications will soon be reduced
- Getting home-owners insurance in case I have a calamity like a fire
Well, my day got off on the wrong foot. The important telephone call, which I won’t say much about, resulted in me finding out that I’d been referred back to the same place I’d had no results from several months ago. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare. You can only call between 9:30am and 12:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays — but when you call, you can never get an answer. And IF you happen to get an answer, they promise to mail you an application form, but the form never materializes. That’s what I went through over the summer, and now it is happening again.
So I went to double-check my polling place so I could vote. I’ve voted in every important election since I turned 18 years of age. But I found that I am not registered to vote! This is a bureaucratic mystery to me, since I definitely did register when I returned from England in 2012. I felt so defeated, the rest of the day was shot. The best I could do for myself was to make myself some scrambled eggs and bacon for my one meal — which was a rare treat and amazing feat, since I usually open a bag of potato chips or put popcorn in the microwave.
By evening, I listened to the early returns of the election, but fell asleep in dismay. I always vote a straight Democratic ticket (with apologies to L and other Republican friends). It’s a shame that the US has evolved into a 2-party system, so we only have the two viable choices. I vote Democratic because, on the whole, Republicans favor or are opposed to:
- Rights for private citizens to own and carry concealed guns
- Opposed to GLBT rights
- Taxes favoring the wealthy and putting greater hardships on the poor
- Restricting access to abortion and birth control
- Not increasing the minimum wage
- Health care costs borne by individuals who can’t afford them, rather than a single-payer system (and revocation of “Obamacare”)
- Warmongering in every situation
- History of opposing civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities
- Keeping women “in their place” (such as unequal pay for the exact same work)
- Opposing a path to citizenship for “undocumented aliens” who really are contributing to our economy and society
- Appointing Supreme Court Justices who follow these “ideals” and who remain on the bench for life
- Supporting the “war on drugs” and such inane laws that make tobacco and alcohol perfectly legal, while lesser lethal and more benign marijuana offenders fill prisons and drain tax dollars
- And many other quibbles….
Obama was elected as the first African-American president in US history to great fanfare, promising to bring the Iraq war to a speedy end. Many people have become disillusioned with him. I can’t say that I’m entirely fond of all the choices he has made, but he inherited a complex presidency in a complex world. Much of what he promised or hoped to do was stymied by an uncooperative Republican contingent of Congress who vowed to fight everything he proposed. It’s a miracle that Obamacare was passed.
I wake from my troubled sleep to find that the Congress, at mid-term election, is now in the hands of Republicans. And my staunchly “blue” adopted home state of Maryland, which was the first state in the Union to approve same-sex marriage — not by legislative action or judicial decree, but by popular citizen vote — has elected a Republican governor.
Republican businessman Larry Hogan scored a stunning upset in heavily Democratic Maryland on Tuesday, winning the governor’s race against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) by promising to roll back tax increases and chart a new direction for the state.
I don’t think I’ll much like this “new direction.” Really in need of this:
Private sorrows, global woes. And we are all here together on this tiny rock called earth. Somehow, we have to love and forgive each other, be the best we can be, and make a little difference before our time is over. Smile at someone today, regardless of whether you are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, African-American or Caucasian, GLBT or straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Buddhist. We’ve got to come together…
(For our first wedding anniversary, when I was on the stroke ward for my stroke and Bell’s palsy, my wife brought a huge Beatles poster to my bedside; I suppose that poster is in the tip by now.)
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