Vote today if you can.? Watch even if you cannot. For the results will not only tell us who will be, arguably, the most powerful person on earth, they will also tell us a lot about the US.? The demographics will tell us about how the US is thinking, and how it has changed over the last few years, and that will impact a lot of things from immigration laws to the world economy.
For those of us in the US who have been reminded of the elections every day during the last year and a half, every time we switched on the television, read a newspaper or answered the landline, today will be a climactic end, or it will be an anti-climax, depending on whom we support. Half of the US is going to be disappointed with the results, irrespective of which candidate wins.
I can offer my own anecdotal evidence of why I think voter turnout is going to be high and people are very invested in this election. At the beginning of the campaign, I had a lot of visitors who had landed on this post after searching for “how to sell my vote” or something similar. I would feel sorry for them, given that the post is not about selling one’s vote, or even about US elections. But for the last few months, I have noticed that no one searches online for methods of selling their vote anymore. I’m assuming this means no one wants to sell their vote anymore, but who knows, perhaps it means that everyone who wants to has already figured out how to sell their vote to the highest bidder 😉
I am confident I will be completely unproductive today, as will millions of others.?I still do not understand why they do not make election day a holiday in the US, as they do in India.? More so when voting times stretch into hours. I will also stay up until late night to watch the results come in. Election results always remind me of the time when I would walk down to the big board outside the Hindustan Times building in Connaught Place and watch the latest Lok Sabha election results. You are right, that was in the days when no mainstream Indian newspaper had an internet presence.
Much more recent is the memory of waking up in the middle of the night to check NYTimes and find that Ohio’s results had all come in and Kerry had lost. There are other memories, and I am not even going into the hanging chads and butterfly ballots.
At the beginning of the day, Pollster was predicting a landslide for Obama – winning 311 electoral college votes (against the 270 required), Mccain winning 142 and the remaining 85 being a toss-up. This map will change during the day:
If, like me, you find yourself checking back repeatedly to see how the map changes, here are a few hilarious ads to take your mind off the results 🙂
An Obama ad that’s a hilarious take-off on Bud’s famous “Wassup” ad series:
A beautiful song to the tune of “Don’t cry for me, Argentina” sung by a self-professed Hockey mama who doesn’t seem to like Sarah Palin very much:
And finally, John McCain’s appearance last weekend on Saturday Night Live, if you haven’t seen it already. I wish we had seen more of this version of McCain during the campaign. Things might have been very different for McCain then – the McCain I saw on SNL is so much more likeable than the one we saw on the campaign trail.
Whichever candidate wins, this election is going to make history for many reasons. This election has evoked strong emotions in many people, including in many of us who cannot even vote.
In the end, I do not know if I am going to be happy or disappointed. I do know, though, that I will be very relieved it’s finally over!