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Election Day

In the absence of anything else going on in this Tohu Bohu, I will continue my tradition:

Election Day, November, 1884, by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, Book XXXIV: Sands at Seventy.

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
'Twould not be you, Niagara--nor you, ye limitless prairies--nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite--nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon's white cones--nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes--nor Mississippi's stream:
--This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name--the still small voice vibrating--America's choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen--the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd--sea-board and inland--
Texas to Maine--the Prairie States--Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West--the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling--(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity--welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
--Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify--while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

I don't use an aggregator, but I thought to myself, "it's Election Day. I'll bet V. has a post up today, even though he hasn't posted anything for a month." And here I am commenting on your election day post! Maybe that will be the best thing about this election day, though I haven't given up on there being some other good news.


David got to vote twice after preschool, putting our paper ballots into the scanner under the watchful eye of the police officer standing at the scanner looking at everyone's completed ballot and helping to insert them into the scanner. In 16 years of voting in this town, including working that polling station 6 years ago, I have never before seen anyone -- let alone a cop -- standing at the scanner to destroy the privacy of the ballot. This was also the first time that they did not have ballot shields to hide your ballot in transit from the booth to the scanner. After we left the building, David asked why the "police-car-man" was there. I explained that he was there to intimidate voters.

When you tell an American voter to announce their name and address and then show their filled-out ballot to the armed police officer, I have to believe Whitman is rolling over in his grave.


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