I had lunch with my mother, sister, grandmother, niece, and baby nephew today. It was the first time I had seen my mother or grandmother is over four months, but we all pretended as if nothing had ever happened and had a good time visiting. We were celebrating Grandmama’s 73rd birthday – a month late because she was out of town visiting her sister on the actual anniversary of her birth.
The thing that most impressed me about our conversation today was their lack of interest in John McCain. Neither my mother or sister had ever voted for president before 2004. That was the year my state put a gay marriage ban on the ballot – something that brought conservatives (including Mom and Sis) out in droves – and they pulled the lever for Bush while they were at it.
This time seems alot different. Not only is there no major “moral” issue for them to vote on directly, they think McCain really isn’t worth rooting for. Each candidate’s position on the issues has taken a back seat to immediate problems, like the price of groceries and gasoline.
My sister did inform me that many of her friends hadn’t even intended to vote until Palin joined the ticket, but she still wasn’t buying into the gimmick. She believes McCain is only pretending to be conservative on the issues so he can get elected.
Mom surprised me when she said she would have preferred Hillary Clinton to either of the two choices before us. I agreed completely, but steered the conversation towards Obama. That’s when I heard many of the same worries that I’ve been hearing for months from other locals. That Obama is an undercover Muslim. That he’s lying about being a Christian. That he is working for some terrorist network to take over our country from the inside.
It seems this level of discontent and discomfort with the nominees is leading many of my aquaintances to sit this election out. A coworker who normally votes Democrat doesn’t want McCain to win, but doesn’t feel motivated to vote for Obama. My partner has been expressing the same feelings. Myself, I’m down to the whole “voting for the lesser of two evils” thing. I don’t think Obama or McCain can improve our situation – I’m just counting on Obama not making anything worse.