Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Kenny Rogers, in my favorite of his songs, quoted the gambler – “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em – Know when to walk away – know when to run…” Where the song was a metaphor for life, I doubt he’d ever imagine his words would sum up my feelings about Election Day.

Ok. Today, I had the following choices for Governor:

The democrats present their incumbent: the smart, experienced Villanova lawyer-turned-mayor-turned governor. Yeah, he’s savvy – but he has no moral conscience that I can testify to. He also has a 79-year old lieutenant governor whom his advisors could not convince to leave office (I always thought governors could choose their running mates each election – but apparently – not so…). Also, the governor – might I add – seems to be about one Philadelphia Cheese steak away from a heart attack himself…

On the other hand, the republicans handed me a sports hero with no prior political experience. They forced the other candidates out of the primary race so they could push the sports hero. Ok… I might vote a sports hero with no experience to be the Mayor of Catty… but Governor of Pennsylvania? Our previous governor left PA to pursue a short tenure as Director of Homeland Security… I don’t see the wisdom in putting a plebe into the capitol.

So – how to choose?

Before I get any further, I want to talk about voting in general. There was a time when I believed my vote didn’t really count. When I was in college, I voted via absentee ballot. About a month after the election, I got a letter explaining that my ballot arrived ONE DAY too early to be counted - and they just wanted me to know that my vote was not involved in the election that year. I resented that. I really felt that my right had been stripped away over an efficient postal service. – I began to wonder if my vote ever counted… I didn’t vote for some time after that.

I was young and naïve… and have since changed my mind. Where I suspect that - practically - my vote only REALLY makes a difference if my candidate wins, I believe the whole situation runs a bit deeper. I think my vote counts because I’ve been given the responsibility – and the right – to be a part of the democratic process. I think my vote counts because it validates my status as an American… I don’t have a lot of regard for those who don’t bother voting… because they’re behaving irresponsibly. There, I said it, and I won’t apologize.

None of this seemed to matter much while in the booth today…

By the way, as an aside, I miss the old lever/curtain voting booths…. Mostly because they made me feel like I was part of a historical process in a way a touch screen can’t… well, touch. Also, I remember doing election coverage at the TV station I used to work at. One of the newbie reporters was interviewing a candidate live, on-air, and asked, “So what’s it like to walk into that booth, close the curtain, and pull on your own lever?” – No kidding. Today marked the end of the POSSIBILITY of such entertaining television…

Today, I left the voting booth depressed – because I felt that I had no really good choices for governor in my state – and my state NEEDS good governance right now. We’ve got all kinds of new issues creeping up – and I want a leader I can depend on. It went beyond voting for the lesser of two evils. Each was equally unappealing for different reasons, but in neither of the candidates’ final words have I found an ace that I can keep… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Seriously though… somehow –the first time in my voting history - I honestly didn’t know what to do… How sad is that?



  • At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So who won? We also had a difficult choice for governor - the incumbent who hasn't made too much difference yet against the millionaire businessman with no political experience and not much appeal to middle class Americans. I am thankful that the incumbent won because probably the consistency will count for something. And sorry Mr. millionaire, my vote can't be bought! I also miss the higher tech machines - we had to color in little ovals with a pen.

  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooops - sorry that was me, Jane.

  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    I feel your pain. I would love one year where I had a strong feeling of connection with a candidate. The last time I got this close was when we elected Bush. Hum. Wonder what this means? Is all hope lost? Where are the good candidates?

  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger Kell said…

    Where are all the good candidates?!!! In the PRIVATE SECTOR being entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, and of course, lobbyists!

    (By the way, Ed Rendell and his soon to be octagenarian running mate won... by a landslide...)

  • At 7:54 AM, Blogger Issa said…

    Amen! So, who did win? I'm curious!

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Issa said…

    PS In case there's any correlation between this and your voting situation, "The Gambler" is a song I tend to sing when I'm drunk. Which happens about once or twice a year, not counting my MFA residencies (in which it happens once or twice a day ;) ). ahhh, memories.


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