I'm not voting for Barack Obama.
I mean, I am, but he's not the reason I'm going to vote. I live in a red state. Fire engine red. Siren red. Schoolhouse red. Neither-candidate-ever-set-foot-here-because-what-would-be-the-
point, red. My candidate won't win my state, though I am hopeful he will win my country. I will vote for him, but it will more an exercise in symbolism than anything else.
It's not Barack Obama who will motivate me to pack a bottle and snacks, stand in two hour lines (300 people were waiting before the polls opened in our area), and take two babies to a voting booth. Can't you picture me, trying to keep Asher from pulling everyone else's levers while I stand behind the curtain and attempt to read a ballot? Yeah, it's not Barack Obama who makes me look forward to that moment. It's Bobby Bright. He's been good for our city, has run a campaign very well, and has even gotten positive national attention. A respected Democrat in Alabama? That's worth noticing. I want Bobby Bright to represent me in Congress, and there are just enough straight-ticket Republicans in our district that I'm a little nervous he won't. His opponent may win just because he's red. Not because he's qualified, not because he completely politicized his faith (which infuriates me and will lose my vote every time), but just because his name is on the right side of the ballot. And even in our flaming red state, it would be a shame to put a putz in Congress just because he's a Republican. The Presidential race will be decided by other states, but in the Congressional race my vote counts, and I'm not going to miss the chance to speak up.
So let the West Wing quotes and armchair quarterbacking begin. Today is the day we've all been waiting for.