For Election Day 2018

did you? Photo by troye owens

Note from CM: It’s election day here in the U.S., as citizens go to the polls to vote in the midterms — the elections between our quadrennial presidential decision. Here is a simple reminder from over a century ago of the humble grandeur of this privilege we participate in as Americans.

• • •

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara — nor you, ye limitless prairies — nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite — nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones — nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes  — nor Mississippi’s stream:
— This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name — the still small voice vibrating — America’s choosing day

• From Election Day, November, 1884
by Walt Whitman


Photo by troye owens at Flickr. Creative Commons License

34 thoughts on “For Election Day 2018

  1. Not exactly a resounding rebuttal. Or do you think she’s so wrong that her points don’t need replying to?


  2. He was and is an iconic American poet, who had more than a few moments of brilliance; American literature and culture would not be the same, and would be the poorer, without him. He was also a shameless self-promoter who assiduously cultivated his personal myth and tended toward bloviation. He also needed direction from an experienced other to direct him through his mystical experiences, which had the unfortunate tendency to inflate his sense of self rather expose the illusion of it.


  3. I think we understand what a metaphor is, but what is the likeness or analogy between the two things or ideas that would make this an apt metaphor?


  4. As of 1pm 52K voters in my county, vs. a total of 49K in 2014. And that is with several of the chronically laggard precincts not reporting since ~9am.


  5. I’m done with voting for “the lesser of two evils.” There will be some blank spots on my ballot; no opportunity for write-ins this year in my state.



  6. Morning drive-time radio in my area said that Early Voting and Vote-by-Mail turnouts were heavy, and they were expecting larger-than-normal turnouts for a midterm.


  7. I hope people aren’t too disappointed. Even after all the fire and fury of recent days most people won’t be bothered enough to actually get out and vote. MIdterms have notoriously low voter turnout. Hope I’m wrong. It would be nice to think that the rolling Trump disaster would drive people to social responsibility. We’ll see. As usual we will get exactly what we deserve.


  8. METAPHOR noun : a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them

    Hope that helps!


  9. Again, from Citizen Kane:

    Dems win big? – Trump claims fraudulence and malfunctioning machines. Recall vote.

    Lotsa Twitter Tweet dog-whistles, which immediately become Inerrant SCRIPTURE (already broken up into 140-char single-verse proof-texts). Into the streets with Bibles, Armbands, Tiki Torches, and AR-15s.

    GOP win. Trump claims vindication of everything he has ever said, thought or done. The term mandate is used. Also greatest, biggest, most tremendous

    Lotsa Twitter Tweet dog-whistles, which immediately become Inerrant SCRIPTURE (already broken up into 140-char single-verse proof-texts). Just like the record-breaking crowds at the Inaguration.

    And Born-Again Christians will be in the forefront of both, with the loudest throats:
    “Trump Tweeted It!
    I Believe It!


  10. I hope my prayer for Susan and John is more effacacious than my minute participation in our bi-annual clown crash-car show. Certainly, it is offered with more desire and charity.


  11. The excerpts that I have read from ‘Leaves of Grass’ impressed me. As an individual he had quirks, but fond of his writing.


  12. My predictions:
    Dems win big? – Trump claims fraudulence and malfunctioning machines. Recall vote.
    GOP win. Trump claims vindication of everything he has ever said, thought or done. The term mandate is used. Also greatest, biggest, most tremendous (and in part he is talking about something besides his manhood).


  13. And after today, NO POLITICAL ADS ON THE RADIO!

    I’ve had to turn my radio off for the past 2-3 weeks because most every ad is a Political Campaign Ad, Two Minutes’ Hate after Two Minutes’ Hate after Two Minutes’ Hate 24/7. Even YouTube has two or three ads before each video you can’t click past, all of them — you guessed it — Political Campaign Ads. Political Junk mail has been coming in in buckets, clogging my mailbox.

    And it doesn’t make any difference. For the past 20 years you can predict the election results in my state well in advance: ALL INCUMBENTS RE-ELECTED. NO EXCEPTIONS.


  14. Anyone remember the Election Day scene from Citizen Kane?
    With the two newspaper headlines booted up, ready for either election result?


  15. I agree with the get out to vote. My prediction is that dems win control of the house 200 to 225. Republicans win the Senate Given the president and Supreme Court nothing will have changed at all after all the rhetoric and mud slinging. It’s time to start working us up into a frenzy as we await 2020. Maybe we can get more people to bring up false allegations and smear some more people. The end always justifies the means or does it ?


  16. The poem later on references the “swordless revolution ” which is happen happens every 2 years in the USA , where we can replace entirely one whole branch of our government. I think the best idea Whitman had was the sampler , especially with the diagram on the box lid , so you know what is inside each piece.


  17. He’s been spoken of as a seer; I’m afraid that means he sometimes, perhaps frequently, saw things that weren’t actually there. He was sort of like the rest of the American people that way.


  18. I’m not sure I agree with Whitman, I’m not sure why or where he hears “the still small voice vibrating” in the electoral decisions of the American people, or why he equates the two, but I know I will be praying for the survival of our democratic republic this Election Day.

    God bless America.


  19. To Ric and others,

    You wished my husband and me Grace on having our Priest visit my John in the nursing home today.
    Rev Ben has been a number of times before.

    Today was a Holy Time. God was present.

    Today is a Holy Day, I have marked my calendar to remind me of it in the future.

    The veil was lifted and my John remembered the old prayers and mouthed them and said amen at the end of the prayers. The Lords Prayer sprang from his lips.

    John and I were anointed and blessed.
    John shook the Rev Ben’s hand and said ‘ thank you’.
    As I said, God was present.

    John does not ever speak. But he knew and mouthed the words. The dementia brain has long past memories.

    I am sure the prayers of IMonkers facilitated this amazing and Holy Day.

    We all need to hear and pray for the needs of our fellow commentators.
    I believe our Lord hears the prayers of those gathered together in His name, even if it is via the internet.

    May you all be so blessed.


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