Photo: One more coat of paint and we’re all done! If I’m a good girl and I get some good writing done (maybe 20k words by Saturday?) I might treat myself to a little trip to the fabric store to get some fabric for curtains! Or not.. let’s be clear: I’m not doing ANY fabric crafting until December!
I’m still in a little bit of shock after last night’s returns.
It’s funny. I’ve never stood to have so much gained or lost by an election. This was my first election as a home-owning mother with school-aged children, and that means I have a lot more skin in the game than I’ve ever had before. My one precious vote has always been important to me, and I’ve tried to remain an informed and attentive citizen, but I’ve always had more of an eye toward the big picture of what our republic is and where I want it to go. But the micro-implications of last night are almost bewildering to me. I am worried about what my new Republican governor is going to do to stuff like school funding and standards, our income and property taxes, funding for services that I may need in the future (like special education and other such things), and the general function of our state government.
And in the postmortem in the media today, all the blame seems to have fallen on the shoulders of young people an brown folk. “Millennials just don’t seem to come out for the mid-term elections,” the talking heads are saying. “Brown people just don’t show up for the mid-term elections,” they are also concluding. And that just pisses me off, because:
First, I vote and I voted. I know a lot of my Brown Millennial friends did, too.
Second, I voted even though no candidate seemed to want to talk to me like I’m a big girl. They didn’t want to talk to me about Pre-K or K-12 education, they didn’t want to talk to me about taxes on young families, they didn’t want to talk to me about jobs and wage equality, they didn’t want to talk to me about violence against people of color… they didn’t want to talk to me. They wanted to talk at me, in buzz words and about things some pollster told them that might interest me, but they didn’t actually talk to me. And that’s just “me” the Millennial. No one talked to “me” the Black Woman. No one talked to “me” the Suburban Mother. No one talked to “me” the Educated Woman. They just kinda expected all the rest of “me” to show up.
And since we’re on it, let’s be really frank: My party straight up ran away from me, my values and my concerns in favor of an older, whiter agenda. They threw my President under the bus, stayed away from him whenever they could, even disavowed voting for the guy because they thought that would get rural, conservative White voters to vote for them (and Lord knows that was never going to happen anyway!!) instead of sticking to our principles and defending our record. It’s bullshit. It’s crazy!
But when they started to lose, they begged me to show up. They started talking about Ferguson and other problems that my community faces like they gave a damn (but it ain’t like they were talking about it when it was happening, and they didn’t talk about it on the campaign trail, either!). It was bewildering. Chris Matthews called Black and Young voters the “cavalry” last night. Not the base, the “cavalry,” because we were being treated like we were the only people who were going to save Democratic chances of saving the senate. Shit, if you only love me when you’re losing, you must not love me at all!
But you know what? I showed up. I showed up because I love my republic anyway, and I showed up because I want the state that I’m raising my children in to be the best it can possibly be. And I’m pretty sure that my loyalties will yield me absolutely nothing in the next 2 years, if not longer.
But don’t blame me because your strategy straight up sucked.
I am usually of the philosophy that when it comes to the universe, you get what you give. But I feel like I give a lot… as much as I currently can, anyway, to my body politic and party, and I don’t get a whole lot out of it these days. I know so many who give even more, quite selflessly.. but for what payoff? We got thrown under the bus this time twice: first, when they ran away from the guy we showed up for and elected to be our president (twice) and his record of improvement and change (even if he’s unpopular. I don’t really care!) and then second when they decided that we “just don’t show up” for elections when, really, we just didn’t respond to their bullshit message. They see that, right? Do they think we don’t get that?
I am grateful that I was able to get into the best zipcode I can afford. My boys will be ok and our preschool years will be behind us soon. But I know that there will be fights, and I know that there will be discomforts down the road. We’re middle class and doing ok, but we aren’t rich. Any tax-breaks that this new governor of mine wants to give certainly won’t come this far down to my economic echelon. Can we hold on to what we’ve got for the next 4 years? I don’t know… I’m worried.
I know that the Federal level of politics is the sexy thing for people to talk about, but I a reminded tie and again that local politics is the level that has the most impact. Nothing is going to happen in Congress or at the White House in the next 2 years. But stuff from the State on down? I feel like I need to become a lot more invested. I don’t know how yet… but it will likely start with more attendance at town meetings and figuring out who my state legislative representatives are (and actually caring about how they vote).
Anyway, that’s where my head is today. It’s just part of the mourning, I guess. But it is a sober day for a Millennial Mother who cares.
Quiet Thoughts on Friday? And maybe Act One of Meadowlark? Big doings! See you then!