Making my peace, writ small

Let us acknowledge right off the bat that I am not happy with the results of Tuesday's election. Our merry, wee band of regular readers will find this unsurprising. I was prepared for results like these, but it didn't make me at all happy when they actually came to pass.

However, there's really no benefit in complaining about how things turned out. For eight years I lived with W. in the White House, four of which following an election in which he was the unambiguous winner. Last year I had to accept that the voters of Maine really just didn't want me and the Better Half to get married. Life has given me ample opportunity to learn coping skills.

The first thing I will say about the imminent reality of a Governor LePage is that his election says something beautiful about our country and my adopted state. This has nothing to do with his politics, which I find wholly objectionable. However, this man has succeeded despite coming from an absolutely appalling childhood. In addition to the particulars of his childhood, French-speaking people have suffered discrimination in Maine for generations. That he has been elected governor despite such adverse circumstances speaks to a personal resilience that merits respect, and that a person born into poverty and abuse can rise to high elected office reminds me of the best in our country. I'm not happy he'll be our next governor, but there are reasons to applaud the result.

I am troubled, also, by the GOP take-over of both houses of our legislature, which hasn't happened for decades. For people dependent on public services for their health care, housing, etc., I think this bodes very poorly.

From a strictly selfish point of view, it's not that hard to find a bright side. I no longer work in Maine, and so won't have to face the reality of an increasingly stressed and deprived patient population with few resources to help them. (I am truly concerned about how this will affect my former colleagues.) While I still live in Maine, it is now in a more affluent area where people have more resources. And I am fortunate to have a good job out of state. While this election probably puts the kibosh on marriage equality for at least another four years, I hardly expected it to be otherwise anyway after last year's heart-rending referendum.

So maybe it's easy for me to look at this result stoically. I'm not entirely sure what the people of Maine are saying with this vote, but the one thing that's clear is that they don't want Democrats in charge (for now). I happen to think this will be bad for the state, but the state has spoken for itself. (Certainly having a profoundly unpopular departing incumbent didn't help.) Better we live in a system where voters can make decisions I find disagreeable than in a system where decisions are imposed upon us.

We'll see where this goes, Maine. Here's hoping for the best.

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