“I’m not watching,” I told Mike. “If anything happens that will make me happy call me down.”
It was 5:30 PM on election night . I went to my room, put on my PJs and climbed in bed. I was praying the entire time. I had been praying almost constantly for weeks. My stomach was uneasy. I wanted this day to be over. I dreaded its coming in the first place. I was too invested in this election. We watched all 12ish of the Primary debates. How crazy they had so many. Mitt Romney was my man, not just because he is a Mormon but because I am convinced that he is a man of great character, a man who has a life story of service. So, by the time he had landed the nomination I was hooked.
I followed the campaign with the Michael Medved radio talk show. I have listened to him for years but now I hung on every word. Michael is wise and knowledgeable. He always made me feel positive, even when the polls looked discouraging. In my mind there were so many reasons not to give Obama another four years: The high unemployment rate, the huge rise in the debt and deficit, the lack of support for religious principles as marriage and abortion, his health care mandate, the recent handling of the murders in Bengazi, and well, I had a lot of issues. I didn’t trust what Obama said. I saw him as a cult personality, created by the media, that believed he could do no wrong. I donated money for the first time to a campaign.
Then I started to post YouTube campaign videos and articles I found to my facebook page. I posted a comment on facebook saying that I was feeling politically motivated and it might be best for any of my friends not to open my links if it might offend them. I had other friends posting Obama support. It all puzzled me. I could see the “slash and burn” campaign of Obama, painting Romney as an evil out of touch rich guy. So many lies were being told and it was making me sick. I had dozens of stories of Romney’s amazing compassion through the years. Plus he seemed to be “a man uniquely qualified for the needs of the time,” a man who knew business and had the will to cut spending and work across the aisle.
Before the debates I received e-mails from entities organizing fasts and collective prayers. I joined in with gusto. After the first debate when Romney did so well and Obama stuttered 52 times I thought, “Wow, these prayers worked!”
So election night I sat in my bed and watched a Netflix movie that turned out to gratefully entertaining and distracting, “ Island On Bird Street”. But at the end it was only 7:30 and I had a lot of night left. I tried to study Spanish but couldn’t concentrate. I found 6 cookie dough balls in the freezer and baked them. I got out my scriptures and read 7 chapters of John from my current New Testament reading. Usually after 2 or 3 chapters I am falling asleep. I pulled “Cranford” out of my video cabinet and watched for an hour. Mike came with discouraging information, and I knew “that which I had feared,” was indeed coming to past. I went to bed and cried a little and fell asleep but not soundly. When Mike came to bed at midnight we talked for an hour. He was angry. He posted on his facebook before coming to bed: “Welcome to Greece.” I was glad I hadn’t watched the returns. We split an ambian because we knew we might never sleep. It wasn’t a good night and at 2:00 AM, Mikes snoring drove me to the couch. The ambian helped a little but I was still fitful.
In the darkness of the night I swore off elections. Never again would I let something like this dominate my life and emotions as it had the last few months. I do feel the country is changing and it worries me. I feel that honesty and character don’t matter anymore, that we want our politicians to be a rock star Santa Clause, that marriage and family are no longer a driving force in our society, that if you don’t believe in abortion you are waging a war on women. But what can I do about it? Follow the Prophet and keep the commandments and “trust in the Lord with all my heart” that is all the power I have and one vote.
PS- I am like an addict trying to wean myself away as the post-election commentaries keep drawing me in. This is a sad commentary from Wednesday’s Deseret News.
South Carolina pollster Dave Woodard, a political science professor at Clemson University, said voters nationwide did know Romney. The problem, Woodard said, was not enough voters shared his values. “I think the values we see in him are not the values of this country. It’s just that simple,” Woodard said. “I just don’t think the country is what it was when we picked Ronald Reagan.”
Romney, Woodard said, was “an ice-cream perfect guy.” Who was rejected because more voters align with the Democratic president on social issues, including support for gay marriage and abortion rights. “I think half of us fell in love with this guy,” Woodward said of Romney, praising his values. “The country didn’t want a leader like that….It’s not like they didn’t know him. It’s that they just didn’t want what he stood for.”
Soon I will be on my mission and maybe I can put this behind me.