I've already voted. I'll be in Toronto on November 2, so I went to City Hall this morning to exercise my right. Call me sentimental, overly optimistic, whatever: I have never missed an election, and, after over 30 years of voting, am excited to put that "X" next to my candidate.
There's been a lot of reporting about the "enthusiasm gap" between Democrats and Republicans this year. I'm here to say that I am not part of that gap. My vote to reelect the Governor of Massachusetts could not have been more enthusiastic. Deval Patrick is a breath of fresh air in this hostile and often vulgar political climate: he's a gentleman who sticks to his guns without demeaning the opposition.
Deval Patrick has angered lots of folks. He made deep cuts in the budget when revenues fell short. But given the state of affairs, I can't think of anyone who I'd rather have doing this impossible work. And he didn't shirk from the very unpopular decision to raise the sales tax to close the budget gap. So many politicians talk about cutting spending; so few tell you where they are going to do that.
He also put his position on the line when he used his office to persuade the legislature to keep the same-sex marriage decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in tact. If anyone doubts if Patrick's stance wasn't instrumental in making same-sex marriage the law, take a look at what Mitt Romney did after the Mass Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the state.
I also very enthusiastically voted for Steve Grossman for Treasurer. I saw him on TV in a debate yesterday, and he was diplomatic beyond belief as his opponent threw out what were obviously rehearsed lines of attack. More important, however, is Steve's business experience combined with compassion.
I go into detail about my voting because I've read so much about how conservatives are far more enthusiastic about this election than Democrats. I read the other day, for example, that the LGBT vote in Illinois could make the difference in keeping Obama's senate seat in the Democratic column and that many LGBTQ people are so turned off by President Obama's handling of the Defense of Marriage Act as well as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, that they may sit this election out. I completely share that anger. I've been very critical of President Obama lately, but make no mistake: electing right wing tea-baggers will hurt us. The results of this election will also help determine how Congressional districts are redrawn. This election will have ramifications for years to come.
So vote, folks. Vote with your nose pinched, if you have to. But vote.