It's easy to reflect philosophically on the election when you win. Sweep in fact. And it's nice to be able to listen to the news again.
Last I heard, estimates were that this election cost six billion dollars. Six billion. Dollars. That's a lot of really good schools. Especially since very nearly everyone already knew who they were voting for before anyone had spent a penny. And especially since in most states it didn't matter anyway. What I've been thinking is that the technology inGoodbye For Now could have saved everyone a lot of time and money. The idea behind RePose is that it reads your emails and tweets and FB posts and such and figures out 1) who you should be dating and 2) the sorts of things you say and how you say them. It could also, far more easily I expect, figure out who you're going to vote for. Even better, it can figure out who you should be voting for. You may be undecided, but the software knows. Think of the money we could save. Think of the time and effort and energy. Obama must be exhausted. The man had to run for president while also being the leader of the free (and not so free) world. This is like pitching game seven of the World Series during halftime of the Superbowl you're quarterbacking. It defies belief.
And much respect to Nate Silver, but I wonder what the miracle is here. That he was right? Or that the answer was knowable? Much has been discussed (in, say, census conversations) about whether actually asking everyone is the best way to vote/count/decide. If we already know, why/how do we ask? There are answers to that question, but they're not easy and they're not quite being widely discussed and they're not bipartisan, which makes them even harder.
Washington state is entirely vote-by-mail now, so in fact I voted a month before election day. I missed going to the polls because there is great camaraderie in standing in line for several hours with one's neighbors attempting to do something civic. My neighborhood is very African-American which made waiting to vote for Obama that much more stirring. I also remember voting with my mom when I was very little, her bringing me behind the curtain with her and letting me pull the lever -- that's stuck with me, and it would be nice for D to have that experience, that memory, and that civic understanding. Would it be as nice as it is not to have to stand in the rain for three hours waiting to vote? No. As nice as it is not to have to miss a day of work to vote? No. As nice as it is not to have to find daycare in order to vote? No. As nice as it is to be able to vote even if you can't get to the polls? No. So I'm with my once and future president on this one: we have to fix that.
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About The Author
Laurie Frankel writes novels (reads novels, teaches other people to write novels, raises a small person who reads and would like someday to write novels) in Seattle, Washington where she lives on a nearly vertical hill from which she can watch three different bridges while she's staring out her windows between words. She's originally from Maryland and makes good soup.