September 10th, 2002

Mama Deb


Today is Primary Day in NYC. Just like it was a year ago, in fact. I didn't vote that day, though, because it was cancelled within a couple of hours. This year, there is practically no reason to vote in the primary - the Democratic incumbents are running unopposed in their own party, and the one exciting race, the one for nomination for governor, was decided a week ago when one of the two candidates dropped out. No one really cares who the Lt. Governor is. Anyway, we all know that Gov. Pataki is staying in office. :(

But I voted, because it's my duty. And as I left, I remembered something else.

I'm a big alternate history fan, and I'm enjoying Harry Turtledove's alternate America, one where the South won and what it would mean. In this story, in the aftermath of WWI (the Confederates allied with Britain and France, the US with Germany, and the latter won) a young black father moved from Kentucky to Idaho. In Kentucky, he was disenfranchised. Until the US captured Kentucky, he didn't even have a last name, just a very fancy first name. After, he got to choose his own last name, but he was still less than a citizen. In Idaho, Cincinnatus Driver found things very different. And in 1921, he voted for the first time in his life. And when he finished, the officials shouted out, as they did (with appropriate variation)for every man voting, "Mr. Driver has voted!"

And I cried.

And we are lucky, we in the US. We have the privilege of choosing our leaders, or we did until the last presidential election. And damn them for taking that away from us.