Saturday, November 3, 2012

People Have the Power (November 3, 2012)

Wendy gives us a call to action for Election Day, through the prism of Hurricane Sandy...
Tom and I live in an area that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, nowhere approaching the devastation suffered in Staten Island and New Jersey, but thousands of residents have been without power, heat and water since last Monday night.  The prognosis is that restoration will go beyond Election Day to the end of next week.   Hotels are full and long gas lines have formed.  Those who are lucky enough to have friends or family with power have vacated the area; Tom and I are among that fortunate group who has been able to relocate. 
So how does this relate to the election?  We’ve heard from so many people in our community that despite the gas shortages, despite downed trees and power lines across every road, they plan to return to their homes on Tuesday to vote.  They know that this election will be impacting their lives well after the effects of Hurricane Sandy are a bad memory.     
The 18th district in NY is struggling to return to some semblance of normalcy after the storm.  But we have a neck and neck Congressional race here between incumbent Tea Partier Nan Hayworth and her Democratic opponent Sean Patrick Maloney.  Our daughter, Allie, recently sent us a study of voting patterns; Allie doesn’t go for fluff and this article isn’t an easy read, but here’s an interesting finding:  “Poor weather is also shown to beneļ¬t the Republican party’s vote share. Indeed, the weather may have contributed to two Electoral College outcomes, the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections.”  (That is, overall good weather in 1960 helped JFK beat Nixon, whereas bad weather in Florida in 2000 hurt Gore.)
Hmmm… that 2000 election changed the course of our lives.  Let’s just say, the weather here is bad so those who live in the 18th need to make a special effort to get to the polls to support Mr. Maloney.
Wherever you live, please vote.  This is going to be a very close Presidential election and many local races are also hanging by a thread.  So much is at stake: our nation’s growing and unhealthy divide between those at the top and those at the bottom, women’s reproductive rights, Supreme Court appointments, environmental protection, student loans, Medicare and Social Security – pretty much anything that affects your quality of life.  Please get out there and vote for President Obama and like-minded candidates in your local elections. 

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