So there we all were standing in line. The crowd was older and mostly white, reflecting the neighborhood. It seemed the only people there under 50 years old were black and they comprised maybe ten or twelve percent of everyone. Truly young people, early twenties, were extremely rare. In fact I only saw one.
If history has taught us anything it is that precinct 124 of Oklahoma County, of the State of Oklahoma will be carried overwhelmingly by Mitt Romney. The retirees, the gray tigers both afoot and in wheel chairs will throw reason to the winds not because they will be better off under a Romney administration. In fact given the stated policies of both candidates a Romney presidency almost guarantees that these people will get relentlessly screwed. No it is something else.
Is it because Obama is black? With some that will be an issue. Is it because Obama might be from Kenya? No, no one in their right mind pays any attention to the birther crap any more.What it ultimately comes down to is that Barak Obama represents real change. He is a dramatic shift in everything they've ever known in national politics on every level imaginable. For many in that line an Obama presidency makes them feel as if they've stepped out of the fifties and straight onto the set of the movie "Blade Runner." Oh they lived through the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and all of that, but this man makes them feel as if those decades didn't happen at all. To them everything, in the merest blink of an eye, is completely different. They are the rotary phones and he is the Ipad. The old don't deal with sudden change well, even when their lives today really aren't what they thought they'd be thirty or forty years ago.
No, there wasn't one white senior in that line who actually thinks Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will fuck them over royally when it comes to medical care and their social security accounts. To them that is unfathomable. To them they are untouchable. Their unsaid mantra is, "I only have a few years left, leave me alone."
Four years ago Barak Obama didn't carry a single county in Oklahoma. The suspicion here is that this time around he'll grab a couple over in the northeastern part of the state, but there is absolutely no hope of him winning the popular vote overall.
Actually, Obama winning Oklahoma never even entered my mind as I stood there. The only reason I spent 45 minutes of my life in that line this morning was to make sure Mitt didn't win the precinct unanimously and to put my two cents worth in on another hopelessly lost cause, the local congressional race. No, it wasn't the notion of my vote somehow having an impact on this race, it was simply frayed idealism that moved me off the couch. Well, you gotta do something don't you?
The day is here at last. Battalions of lawyers are at the ready in numerous locales. By dawn tomorrow there will be great jubilation in some corners and in others a gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth. It is an even bet that litigation will follow vote counts in a couple of states. The nightmare of the 2000 Florida recount looms over the whole proceeding like a dark cloud.
The gut says the national popular vote is too close to call, but Obama will win the electoral college and another term. Of course that same gut told me Oklahoma would drill Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. It will be a long night no matter what. Don't touch that dial.