A Blue Dot in a Red State

I live in Romney country, a blue dot in a red state. One neighbor down the street has a “Fire Obama” sign; another has a “Obamanation” sticker plastered on the back window of the car. Winding through carpool every morning, I pass a sign that reads: “Fight back. Vote Republican.”

This morning when my daughter noted that today was the day before the election, I found myself telling her not to discuss the election with anyone. It’s like football talk around here I explained. No matter what you say or do, you will not convince an Alabama fan to become an Auburn fan, or vice versa.

I remembered her experience one day last month around the time of presidential the debates when her fourth grade class discussed the upcoming election. Frances and one other boy were the only two who supported Obama. The other nineteen children, astonished and puzzled, asked why. Frances retorted: “Don’t you want women to have rights?” I was proud when she told me this. I was also wary, worried about her speaking her voice, a different voice, in my suburban, well-heeled community.

The mood in this country seems to me as divisive as it must have been during the civil right movement. Just a couple of nights ago, the brand new signs commemorating the Freedom Riders Park in Anniston,  Alabama, were burned.

This year is the first time I haven’t staked my candidate’s sign in my front yard for all the world to see. I don’t trust people’s reactionary rage, even though in 2013, it will be fifty years ago since the beatings, burnings and bombings in Alabama.

Call me paranoid, but tomorrow, I will let my vote speak for itself.


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