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Wed Jan 18, 2017, 09:50 PM

On the eve of our new era--a tale [View all]

I wanted to post a little something personal--I almost posted it in Postmortem, but I wanted a more intimate setting. It isn't really socialist related, but I hope subscribers here will indulge me.

My stepson recently started taking an interest in politics. He very seriously told me and his father that now he's settled into a job, and adulting, he felt it was time to turn to the other adult pursuit of his civic duty.

We helped get him registered to vote at his new rental address, and naturally talked a lot about the election. He's the son of an immigrant mom, and his dad's side is also from another country on the paternal side, so my stepson had a natural aversion to Trump. I think he probably was intrigued with Bernie, but was ABT by the time the general rolled around.

At the last minute he had a chance to visit in South Korea for a month with his girlfriend (who is from Korea,) and he remembered a day or two before he left that he would miss his chance to vote if he didn't fix a way to get his ballot in from another country. I'd never dealt with this either, and later we realized there were easier ways to get his mail-in ballot to him in Korea--but eventually he managed to get some kind of federal provisional write-in ballot while in Korea.

If you know anything about the CA ballot for the 2016 election, it was four pages long, with about 20 measures to vote on, in addition to all of the candidates. He had to write in everything...all of the measures and all of the candidates. By hand.

But he did it. The embassy where he could drop it off was closed the last day he was going to be around Seoul near the date of the election, so he spent $20 mailing it internationally to get it to the USA in time for the deadline.

The day of the election dawned, and he and his girlfriend were, ironically, visiting the DMZ. They spent a pensive and existential day looking across into North Korea, at the sort-of Potemkin village the DPRK has set up for tourists to see from telescopes across the border.

They were leaving when all of a sudden his girlfriend's cell phone started blowing up with texts from her sister in CA--with the results of the election here. They got the news that Trump was the President-elect from the side of the road in South Korea.

They came back and told us this story. Even though the election went poorly and we were so saddened by the results, I was proud of him for going to such lengths to make sure his vote was counted. It made me cry.

There have been a lot of posts about youth cynicism with the process of democracy, so I thought I would share the one story that has kept a little fire burning for me this year.

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