Monday, November 3, 2008
I will be snug as a bug . . .
It is the eve of one of the most important elections of our time. Many people across this country have voted already, my son being one of them. I will be voting tomorrow. And then I will be going home and watching the election returns into the wee hours of the morning, and I have taken the next day off work to watch it all on TV as well.
What I will not be doing is going downtown to Chicago's Grant Park to get lost in the crowds of Obama supporters. And I wouldn't do it even if I were supporting Obama.
The event has been in the works for the last couple of weeks at least, and the security is supposed to be high. There were invitations emailed out and from what I hear, the people bearing those invitations will need to have a driver's license to identify them as the person the invite was sent to. But they will each be given a "guest" invite as well. Who is going to vouch for them?
Added to the crowds inside the actual event area which will number in the tens of thousands, Mayor Richie Daley has seen fit to encourage everybody to "come on down" and "you don't need a ticket to come out and celebrate!" It's all well and good that he's an ardent Obama supporter, but wouldn't it be a good time for him to recommend a certain amount of caution? I can just imagine the police superintendent cringing when he heard the mayor say that.
I fully understand the gravity of the event and people's desire to be part of history and all, but it seems big crowds celebrate these days by turning over cars and starting things on fire, as evidenced by winning sports teams recently, and the like. Some shop owners near the event will be buttoning up their stores early and heading out of the area "in case anything happens" is how one man put it on the news this morning.
Not liking big crowds anyway, it would be my preference to stay home even if it were my candidate staging an event on such an important evening. And I am hoping that win, lose, or draw (draw? I doubt it) the crowd behaves in a safe and dignified manner. This is a presidential election after all, and not the Super Bowl.
There will be no alcohol served at the event but that does not extend beyond the fences where people may see fit to ward off the chill with a nip or two, or to celebrate with a bottle of something, or three. And I must admit to a bit of trepidation about the whole thing. I sincerely hope that it is a calm and happy crowd and not a rowdy one.
Regardless of my choice of candidates and what I want the outcome to be - I do not want to see anyone get hurt or the evening to be one that is tinged with regret or ugliness on either side. I know there will be gatherings all across the country and after such a long and contentious campaign - I'm kind of hoping people are just too damn tired to party all that hard!
Please be responsible and be safe, everyone.