Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cora Carlisle, Sister Suffragette, Wants You To Vote!

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty is, in my not at all humble opinion, the best book of the year.  I absolutely fell in love with the protagonist Cora Carlisle--orphan, adopted daughter, wife, mother, chaperone, lover, friend.  If she were alive, I'd totally want to hang out with her.
Source: Google books

When I awoke this morning, election day, I overheard Katie saying under her breath, "Goodbye PBS Kids."    

I interrupted her.  "Sweetie, even if Mitt Romney is elected that doesn't mean he's going to get rid of PBS Kids.  He's just going to take away some of their money.  PBS Kids will exist whether Mitt Romney is President or not.  Quit worrying!"

My child is such a drama queen.  I have no idea where she gets it.

Many months ago I belonged to a no holds barred online political discussion group called Beyond Thunderdome.  I was invited by a Libertarian friend of mine, Janel, who I pretty much disagree with on everything political and yet I remain quite fond of her personally.  At first I couldn't figure out why I was invited to join the group since most of the participants were pretty solidly Libertarian or Conservative and I'm so pinko I make men like Obama look red.  Then I read the description that basically said it was a group for loudmouths who like to argue no matter their political ideology.  Ah ha.

I lasted about six months or so before I discovered that a few people, including one of my favorite Conservatives to argue with, had blocked me.  That meant anytime there was a discussion, he couldn't see my posts and I couldn't see his.  It was frustrating trying to figure out what the group was talking about with all the holes in the conversation, so I left the group.  It's probably a good thing I left.  It was certainly fun, but the group was a big time-suck for me.  Since leaving, my blog has really taken off, probably because the energy I had once put into the group is now available for me to harness on my own platform.

Back when I was still chatting with my discussion buddies, many of them would tease me any time I'd make some statement about being so disgusted with President Obama's foreign policy blunders and drone attacks on innocent civilians that I was honestly thinking of writing-in a dead man come November.  "Yeah right!  Come November you'll be back on the Obama bandwagon," they assured me.

No, no.  Not this time.  I was sick and tired of always voting the lesser of two evils.  And there was no way I'd vote for a right-wing radical like Ron Paul even if he did decide to leave the Republican establishment and run as a third party candidate.  So, for a split second, I actually considered not-voting.

Cora Carlisle, Suffragette supreme, would be disgusted with me.  How could I do that to my suffragist sisters, even the fictional ones?

Of course my conservative friends were right.  I eventually changed my mind, and now I'm back on the the Obama bus dancing around like a hopeful fool.  It helps that he came out in support of Marriage Equality, and, as Katie likes to remind me, he's a fan of Big Bird unlike his counterpart Mitt Romney.  The gays and the kids get me in the gut every time. 

It's laughable now to think I'd ever think of not voting.  In 1988, when Michael Dukakis was trying to beat President Reagan, I missed being eligible to vote by three weeks.  I wouldn't turn 18 until November 22 and I'd have to wait until I was nearly 20 before I'd get to actually cast a ballot.  My mom understood how disappointed I was, missing out, so she offered to be my surrogate and vote for whomever I wanted.  I picked Dukakis.  I remember when I told her who I wanted her to vote for, she said, "Oh, sure.  He's Olympia Dukakis' cousin!"  Mom always paid more attention to pop culture than politics.  Could be she couldn't relate to politicians, but she could relate to the accountant character Olympia Dukakis played in the wonderful movie, "Moonstruck," being an accountant herself, just as I could relate to Cora Carlisle's Progressive character in The Chaperone.

Needless to say, 1988 was the first and only year my mother picked the losing presidential candidate.

Mom has a rare gift for adapting to the current political tides, probably because most Americans are like her and pay more attention to movie and TV stars than they do politicians.  A staunch Independent who lived for twenty years with my Conservative dad and Progressive me chronically arguing and interrupting her shows on TV, Mom votes with her gut and she's always right.  So I voted with my gut this year too.  Gays and Kids.  I hope I'm right.  At least I know my imaginary friend Cora Carlisle approves.

Suddenly I feel like watching Mary Poppins with Katie.  

"Our daughters' daughters will adore us, and they'll sing in grateful chorus, 'Well done, Sister Suffragette!"

Does pop culture influence your decision to vote?