Election Journal

Stephanie Here and Now
7 min readNov 8, 2022
The view from our kitchen table this morning.

Going to put my thoughts on this election right here. A record to reference later. This is my first mid-term as an American citizen. Casting a vote for Joe Biden was my first experience with voting as a citizen.

It takes around five years to become a citizen here, and that’s if your path is recognized, and smooth. In my case, I am the wife of an American citizen who has been a stand-up guy his whole life. He’s worked for Newsweek, The Village Voice, published books, for one of them, he spent a year following Jimmy Carter when that really mattered. He’s taken on work that did not pay well because it was the right thing to do. Based on his reputation, we had a clear path to my citizenship. Even so, it was often pretty scary.

Obama deported more immigrants than any other President in history. That was scary. I knew, if I was even stopped for speeding, I would risk being separated from my husband for ten years. My husband promised I would be a model resident, and he promised to support me for my first few years here. He promised I would not work. He promised I would not leave the country.

Those promises made life quite difficult for us. Keeping them inhibited our financial progress through life, but we kept those promises. Nevertheless, I was allowed to help campaign for HRC in 2016, although I could not vote. I swore the Oath of Citizenship on July 4th, 2017. The sitting President did not welcome any of us. He spent his first year in office looking for ways to kick us out. I was comforted by the fact that the 10,000 new citizens who swore the oath every month that year, and every year until 2020, were Obama citizens. We started the process under Obama and, in part, we admired America because of Obama. I knew, if we could get to 2020, our votes would be enough to kick President #45 and his stupid red hat, out of office. I was right.

Okay? That’s it for transparency. This is what I’m thinking about today:

PENNSYLVANIA

It’s hard for me to imagine people voting for Dr. Oz to represent their interests in PA. Aside from the fact that the man is still a citizen of Turkey, (albeit in much the same way as I am still a citizen of Canada, unrecognized by the US government but recognized by the countries of our birth) and lives in New Jersey, he’s very slick.

People who live outside of the US have different stereotypes about each state. There is a lot of truth in every stereotype, I’m not arguing about that. But while PA is home to its share of white truckers and construction workers as well as Republican farmers, and billionaires, it is also home to a significant Black population and to Pittsburgh which has become something of an northern Austin, it’s a hipster magnet and they’re not voting for Oz. Of course, there are also the Amish. Do they vote? If they do, I guess it could go either way.

But when I think about what I would do if I were voting in PA, I would vote for Fetterman. I would cast that vote because of his stroke, not in spite of it.

In 2014, I had open heart surgery. I suffered significant damage to my heart. I have a hidden disability.

That experience and all of the hard work I put in, on a daily basis, to stay healthy enough to lead an active, normal life, has made me a better stronger person. It has made me more compassionate. It has made me more vulnerable. It has made me a person who thinks deeply about the consequences of my actions and it has made me a person who has to fight for every single day I have on earth. I do the work, I get to live. It’s that simple.

Senate seats are elected by states but Senators pass laws that effect the entire country. Too many Canadians think the US operates as Canada does and that is not true. A Senator in PA has the capacity to change things over the whole country. Even my reliably blue state of Massachusetts could be harmed by a Republican Senate majority.

Given the choice between two men for a Senate seat, I want the one who understands what it’s like to go through the kind of battle I went through. Many millions of Americans, more every year, are going through those battles. Covid and the ensuing epidemic of Covid long haulers, has increased the number of Americans who must work hard to maintain a normal health baseline by the millions. I want someone who can understand that in the Senate. I do not want someone who ridicules health issues and who seems to think he is beyond the reach of time. Oz has shown he believes he is never going to have any kind of health issue. He’s 62 years old. Health issues are about to start visiting him. No one escapes the process of aging.

I don’t want someone who doesn’t understand the aging process having any control over my government. Oz suffers from a mean case of hubris. Time is going to take it out on him, and probably sooner than later.

Unfortunately, if he wins that Senate seat, karma probably won’t catch him until he’s already done a lot of damage to the health care system and to the social safety net for young mothers and senior citizens. By contrast, Fetterman has had his brush with mortality early, like me. I know what that does to a person and it is a strength, not a weakness. All of us have a terminal diagnosis, the difference between Oz and Fetterman is that Fetterman knows what his diagnosis is, that’s an advantage, it builds character and makes him more likely to make good decisions for the rest of us. It’s how people gain wisdom.

It’s 10:45 a.m. EST right now. And that’s what’s on my mind. I will add to this as the day goes on.

view from my desk (window needs cleaning)

GEORGIA

Who, in their right mind would look at Herschel Walker and say, “yes, that guy would make better choices than Raphael Warnock” ?

Who? Well, I suppose people who think Marjorie Taylor Green would be a good choice to represent them in Congress might do that.

Senator Warnock has all the makings of a future President, and a very good one at that. He’s the Pastor at Martin Luther King’s church, FFS. He’s the logical heir to a leadership role in America’s continuing civil rights movement. He’s proof that we care about solving racism here.

I can understand how it might be possible for the voting public to choose Kemp over Abrams, sexism is, after all, still our normal social state here and everywhere else. And Kemp is the incumbent. He has proven he can resist Trump’s dictatorial impulses, even if he only does so out of self-interest. But if Warnock does not keep his seat in the Senate, there is only voter suppression to blame for it.

MASSACHUSETTS

I’m proud of my state and so I was surprised to see us listed on the news as one of the states most likely to “flip.” Then I remembered, Charlie Baker is a Republican.

So that’s true then. We are going to flip tonight. There is only one maniacal trumpist running in MA and he’s running to be Governor. He is going to lose.

Sometimes, I think we should change our state motto to “Massachusetts: Not actually crazy.” We have reasonable gun laws, good public health care and we elect our representatives based on common sense. I’m not worried about us.

After dinner, the polls are starting to report.

FLORIDA

So it’s a good news/bad news kind of night so far. Florida was heavily gerrymandered. I forgot about that. The districts have been rigged to lock out the Democrats. Predictably, it worked.

However, there is one aspect to the vote in Florida that people overlook and that’s the immigrant vote. Maybe it’s not fair to say they overlook it, that’s not exactly true, what they do is assume immigrants take positions on issues that we, as a group of voters, do not take.

I feel like every time I hear a politician make their pitch on the issue of immigration they forget the fact that once immigrants are able to vote, we are citizens; we’re not immigrants anymore.

There is no consensus amongst immigrants on the subject of immigration. In fact, having jumped through the hoops required to become an American, many immigrants think those harsh immigration rules should be maintained. Some are fleeing persecution by their former countrymen, and they don’t want it to be easy, or even possible, for their persecutors to follow them across the border into America.

I think borders are unduly rigid, I don’t believe in making immigration harder but I am in the minority even amongst immigrants from “developed” areas like Canada or the EU. There is a natural human tendency to want something to be just as hard for the person who comes after you as it was for you. Democrats forget this every single election, I swear. As a result, they lose votes they could gain.

As for me right now? I’m feeling anxious, so I’m going to change my clothes and scrub the kitchen floor. See you in an hour or two.

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Stephanie Here and Now

American from Canada. Writer Researcher. I'm new around here.