Over the years I pulled away from partisan politics, being tired of just how polarizing and non-functional the labels have become. But I still work to get people to the polls on election day because I still believe, no matter what your ideology, it is important to vote.
Mostly I now work with our senior citizen department. Seniors who no longer drive sign up if they need a ride and I, and others, shuttle them back and forth. These are some of the interesting conversations I had yesterday:
- Edna, probably 80 pounds dripping wet - “ I don’t know why that f*cking Obama doesn’t just bomb the Middle East off the face of the earth.” That wasn’t really conversation as I had no response at all. I just walked her into the poll and got her home quickly. Frankly, she kind of scared me.
- Charles, apologized for being late because he had to “clean his appliance.” That’s okay, I’m in no rush. And he continued “I have no colon so I had to clean out my colostomy bag.” I nodded. “I also have no rectum”. I’m very sorry. “Now no one can call me an asshole.” I laughed out loud. Okay, you got me with that one. “I get a lot of people with that one”, he said smiling, quite satisfied.
- Betty, got in my car and thanked me profusely. Oh, thank the good Lord for people like you. God bless you for doing this. I vote at my church. The Catholic Church. Okay. Are you Catholic? Uh, no. Are you Protestant. Uh, no. Are you anything? Not really. Did you vote? Yes, I voted earlier today. Well, at least you did that. Young people today don’t bother. This country is not what it used to be. People don’t vote. They don’t go to church. There’s no morality. Are you married? Oh look, we’re here.
- Harold, a short man with a walker, struggled to get into my car. He had on a Navy cap and I asked him, World War II? Yup. I served on a destroyer in the Philippines. I still have shrapnel in my hip. I thank you for your service. My father was infantry in World War I. One of my sons was killed in Vietnam and my granddaughter just returned from a tour in Iraq. It never ends. I am sorry about your son. I knew quite a few guys who didn’t come home. Yeah, I’m glad I won’t be here for the next war. The Great War was supposed to end all wars and we've been at war ever since. The next one will destroy the whole planet. We never learn.
We never learn.