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Election Night as a Unit of Measurement

Last night I watched the election returns from International Territory.

During the 2004 vote, I was still in college, a month from graduation –and I hated everything George W. Bush represented. I was an activist, organizing rallies and teach-ins and even going door to door stumping for the Green Party in local elections. We played drinking games—it was college—but when the night ended I wasn’t drunk, I was disappointed and disenfranchised. And I didn’t want to live in a nation that had re-elected a self-proclaimed ‘war president.’ I left.
I spent W’s entire second term living and working in the developing world. During the 2008 returns, I was sitting in a flower shop inEcuador, deep in conversation with my friend Ana while she made bouquets. Then I walked home and went to sleep; it was the same as any other day.
This year I was working the late shift in the press office at United Nations headquarters in New York City. The TV which usually broadcast a live feed from the General Assembly or Committee meetings was switched to CNN when the returns started to come in, and while everyone kept working, we would all periodically walk up to the screen for a better view and listen in for the latest numbers.
It’s strange to think how different each election night has been for me, and perhaps how representative they all have been for that stage in my life. A wild idealism and naïve belief that the established mechanisms for change were just in 2004. A complete withdrawal from my native country and it’s political process in 2008. And now, in 2012, a strong preference for the world over the country and an acknowledgment that while I want a better world and am working toward that I also must accept that reality in which we all exist.
I’m looking forward to 2016.
***I’ll continue to re-post one my favorite entries from my old blog each day as I tweak this one***
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