From Todd Wohling, writing at TechRaptor:
I hate myself for what I did Tuesday.
I remember voting for the first time in 1994. Walking in to a small community center in a village of less than 500 in rural Wisconsin with my parents filled me with a Capraesque sense of awe. Maybe it was the echoes of people shuffling through a basketball court that could only come from Hoosiers; maybe it was the act of punching an actual ballot for the first time; or maybe it was the feeling of finally being able to affect change, in an infinitesimal way, after hearing my parents talk about labor relations, income disparity, and a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body for the overwhelming majority of my childhood. Up until Tuesday, the act of casting a ballet gave me the same kind of feeling that Jimmy Stewart injected in to Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or for something more modern, up until Tuesday I felt the same since of civic pride from casting a ballot as I did for knowing the words to I’m Just a Bill on Capitol Hill, or acting as Speaker of the House for the mock Congress in my American Government class in high school.
That first election was not without controversy. There was a referendum on the ballot for funding for a new high school building. The educators at my high school took it upon themselves to bring everyone that was going to be 18 on Election Day into the band room so they could show us all how to vote, “in favor of the school funding issue.” I remember talking with my parents at dinner on the day of about how we were shown how to vote. Above all, I remember listening to, and later participating in, an uncountable number of conversations around the dinner table: Organized labor (my parents combined have been members of unions for roughly 50 years), butter > guns, the need for strict separation between church and state, and a desire to ensure that everyone had equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I am was a liberal. I am was not ashamed to call myself one, even after moving to Colorado and taking a job in a conservative pocket of the tech industry, where unashamed liberals are the vast minority. I would regularly hold court on Fridays while our design team was eating breakfast together; it got so “bad” at one point that I was given the nickname “Pinko Todd” in honor of my rampant socialist rantings.
After Tuesday, I don’t know that I can call myself a liberal anymore.
Read the rest of the story at TechRaptor.