My son’s first vote

My son cast his first vote last evening (in Somerville, Ward 5, Precinct 2). He waited in line for an hour and a half, his was vote number 1,550. I took a picture of the event, but I don’t want to post it without his permission.

This was a big night for him. He is very involved politically (I wonder where he gets that from?), and I’ve watched him grow into the kind of idealistic pragmatist that I think offers great hope for our future. Two years ago, when he moved from his mother’s house to ours, he wanted nothing to do with the political process at all — he was convinced that the entire system was broken, that nothing he did could make a difference, and that even pursuing a college degree was “waste of time” because the future he saw was so bleak.

Today, thanks to a lot of hard work on his part, huge contributions from the excellent team at Somerville High School (they epitomize the best of urban public education), and maybe a little help from his step-mother and me, he is enthusiastic about his undergraduate program at UMass Boston. He is excited about political science, excited about philosophy, and best of all sees that he CAN make a difference. He traveled an hour through rush hour, waited in line for an hour and a half, and did all that after a long day of classes because he felt, passionately, the Elizabeth Warren MUST be our next senator.

He blushed a bit when the room erupted in applause as I took the photograph of his first vote. I am very proud of him.


6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. You should be proud!

    Especially of the way he’s enthusiastic about life and the future.

  2. Yesterday was my daughter's first vote...

    …in a presidential contest. After she turned in her ballot, she ran over to me and gave me a high-five, to many, many similes from the voters waiting in line.

  3. Come to think of it

    Yesterday was my wife’s first vote in a Presidential election as well. Until 2009 she lived in Puerto Rico and couldn’t vote for President.

  4. The Puerto Rico situation may change.

    I’m surprised this didn’t get more coverage, but yesterday for the first time Puerto Ricans vote by a comfortable margin to seek statehood.

    • Yes and no

      It was a two-tiered poll. First, do you want to change the current status? That won by 53-47 or so, not a huge margin but the first victory for changing the island’s status ever.

      On the second part, once it was assumed a change was taking place, the vote was heavy for statehood because the other two options both led toward independence. One was outright independence, the other a more autonomous version of the current situation. Many people in P.R. are very concerned about the island’s prospects if independent.

      Further complicating things, statehood is largely pushed by the conservative PNP, which also pushes the English language and Americanization in general. The pro-statehood PNP governor, Luis Fortuno, was defeated for re-election last night (my wife is estatic; he’s like a Puerto Rican version of Todd Walker or G.W. Bush).

      The incoming governor, from the left party, disavows the legitimacy of the statehood referendum due to the two-tiered questioning, which he says was rigged to favor statehood if a bare majority could be had on the first half.

      Statehood is an odd issue in P.R. and I think most people, for now, still want to stay the same. Their current status is not satisfying, a sort of halfway house, but the people are stuck in the middle too. They are quite ambivalent about the U.S. The culture has become Americanized to some degree, and there’s fear of economic ruin without a U.S. connection. But pride in the island’s separate culture runs high, and they don’t really identify with a lot of aspects of U.S. culture and politics, as I’ve learned from living with my wife.

      Statehood is a knotty problem. There would be pressure for major cultural (and particularly linguistic) change, and P.R.’s average income is far lower than any state in the U.S. For those reasons it would be hard to get it through Congress, even if the GOP wants to make nice with Latino voters, and would be a big shift for the island. My guess is it doesn’t happen any time soon.

      I know this is BMG, not B-PR-G, so apologies for the length of this comment, but it’s an interesting issue.

    • The question makes me want to read up

      on Hawaii was like before statehood. There seems to be some analogy, though I think Hawaii was more Americanized by 1959.

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