This from an email acquaintance; it rings true to me:
If any of you have been following the news about last night's election, then you know that Cora Howe in East Nashville was one of the last polling precincts to close last night (at 12:45am) & that we have the dubious honor of being the place where the last official voter in Davidson County voted, our machine operator, Bill Flum.
I'm writing because, in spite of the long lines and the rain, I experienced there an extraordinary demonstration of community harmony that reaffirmed my belief that people are basically good and will do the right thing in the face of adversity. I will never again talk blithely about the "apathy of the American voter" because these people showed me that they take democracy seriously.
Many people stayed in line for over four hours, with the last people staying in line for over five, to make their voices heard. And what's amazing about it is that they did it with such good spirits. ... And amazingly, several people had made such strong connections with each other (and with us the poll workers) that after waiting for over five hours, they stayed to watch until the last voter voted and then sang "God Bless America". This was well after midnight.
I was proud of East Nashville last night and humbled because those of us who call ourselves community leaders often have a jaded view of the people we are supposed to be helping and we get tired because it often seems like things never change. But seeing the spirit of those ordinary working folks, I know that I have to keep working to make sure that the people's voices are always heard.
There's a force in peoples' sometimes naive belief in voting. Both right and left trifle with it at their peril.
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
It's mighty uncomfortable, getting by in a declining empire where elites maintain their power by massaging our mean streaks and mobilizing our resentments. This country and this "civilization" may be on their way out, but there's nothing else to do except try to make them as humane as possible along the way. That and to celebrate the extraordinary love that sometimes accompanies our species' bumbling way.
And the end hasn't come til it comes, ever.
Visitors will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading here. I am very intentionally reading more offline these days because when it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."