Saturday, January 29, 2005

Vote on Sunday, Citizens of Iraq!

My father died in 1996. The next day I borrowed my roommate's car (what a cool guy...he offered it) drove upstate and picked up my mom, then drove to South Carolina. The next day, after doing what needed to be done, I raced back home, and I do mean raced.

There was something just as important (to me) that I needed to do.

I tried taking a short cut, got lost in Jersey City, time was ticking, drove through at least one unbelievably long red light, illegally parked the car in front of a school, raced through the doors with five minutes to spare, and voted for four more years of relative prosperity (waco, sanctions and too many concessions on Democratic platforms are what bugged me then; words spoken a few days after Kerry's concession more than bug me now, words that went further than all of his concessions).

Voting means a lot to me. Another election horror story. A few years before, after work and after a pit stop at home, on my way out the door to vote, my right hand stayed behind. I had stupidly, clumsily, hurtfully slammed the door on my hand. So after doing the expected, screaming and cursing, I ran to the bathroom, leaving a trail of blood behind me, and took care of my wounds. My entire body was tingling with pain, and my hand had grown monstrous. I wrapped a towel filled with ice on it and crawled over to the couch to lie down.

There really wasn't any point in going to the emergency room. It just hurt like all hell, and I could tell that nothing was broken. Plus, there were only three hours left to vote. So I waited the pain out.

A few hours later, feeling reasonably better, I wrapped a bandage around my right hand and grabbed it with my left around the wrist (like I always do), stumbled out of my house while struggling to keep my wound elevated, and somehow made it to the precinct to vote. When I got there and signed in, the poll watchers witnessed my determination, and came close to standing and cheering.

I'm not a voting saint. I have missed voting in a few elections (except for presidential and senatorial), not out of apathy or laziness, but because I hadn't established residency in time to make the deadline (it's wrong that many working poor Americans are disenfranchised for such reasons, and it's wronger that many Republicans have opposed same-day registration and voting, causing it to continue to happen).

That's why I think Iraqis should let their voices be heard for what may possibly be the first time in Iraq's history on this Sunday.

Don't lend credence to this farce. This is an embarrassment. This is no way to hold an election. No one should have to face the threat of death in order to vote.

As much as I condemn the neoconservative occupation of a sovereign country even after the government has been dismantled, I sincerely believe that you should have the opportunity to vote for the future of your very lives. Let's have the election as soon as possible, but under rational circumstances.

IRAQI VOTERS SHOULD HAVE THE OPTION OF VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT AT THE VERY LEAST! Stay home, stay alive, and demand an election that will allow every single person the opportunity to take part, if he or she wants to.

I have no idea why this isn't being allowed in Iraq. I do know that exiles are voting in America. I do hear the Administration spokespersons continuously claiming that the turn-out doesn't matter, that the final results don't matter, that the fact that parts of Iraq won't even be allowed to vote don't matter, and that, no matter how many bombs explode and prospective voters die, all that matters to them, is that the election take place on January 30, 2005. There are theories as to the reasons, and some of them are probably, at least, partially true. But who knows really? Does even Dubya? I know Donald knows. He's the boss.

Today's top headline at Rush Limbaugh's Website reads "Senator Kennedy Pulls a Bin Laden, Releases Tape to Undermine Iraqi Election." Senator Kennedy's sin according to B.F.I. (what Al Franken called him): Senator Kennedy uttered the word "quagmire" and suggested that "[a]t least 12,000 American troops -- probably more -- should leave at once, to send a strong signal about our intentions and to ease the pervasive sense of occupation."

If Rush represents the right's way of thinking and if Teddy's Osama, I wonder what the right would call someone like me who voiced similiar opinions. There ain't anything worse left to call me (but I'm damn sure that one or two recent trolls I've attracted - okay so I'm lying; I practically invited them - might think of something).

More on you-know-who late tomorrow. So, you-know-who, you can keep busy with the lie of a blog that you put back online today, and not come back for at least another 24 hours.


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