As we wait for the election to conclude, there are two vital things to remember; it ain’t over ’til it’s over, and there is no finish line.
That might sound like contradictory advice, but both things are true.
With the new voters in my household, I have told the harrowing tales of the election of 2000, (and why I have been boycotting the state of Florida since then,) emphasizing that we did not have a decision for many weeks. While a landslide is the best way to conclude an election, it takes time to count the votes, and with each state counting on it’s own timetable with it’s own standards, it’s complex. When we have state certified results on the count, and the (damned absurd) electoral count is at the crucial number – then we will have a winner.
We will look at numbers and consider what they mean.
What it seems to mean is that we have more people than ever before engaged in the political process. What I hope is that those who have been active stay active; start strategizing on how you will move your issues forward, and who you can get to come with you.
I recently watched “The Vote,” a PBS documentary on women winning the right in the US, and it taught me some things I didn’t know, and reminded me of how much time it really takes to create political change. The women who began the movement died before it succeeded. The women who got it accomplished had not yet been born when it was begun. At the moment that Congress finally passed the Suffrage Act, feminist leader Alice Paul was already running across town, back to her desk to strategize the campaign to win the needed approval of the states.
After it passed, fewer than half of the women who were eligible to vote registered. It took decades for our culture to embrace.
Change is a big, multi-faceted jewel, and each face has to be polished with care.
When we go back to vote again in two years, we may have made great gains or barely any. We might have moved mountains, or just a few spoonfuls of soil.
No election is ever about crossing the finish line, but it can be an important mile marker, a crucial stretch of track.