Like everyone else, my attention has been sucked up by the presidential race, particularly since I'm an Ohioan. I couldn't ignore that race even if I tried. Everywhere I go the conversation isn't about who to vote for and why. It is about how sick we all are of being inundated by the constant barrage of TV ads, emails, direct mail pieces, radio ads, robocalls, etc. In fact a funny piece was written this week about the lengths the presidential campaigns will go to get our precious Ohio votes. Ohio is a swing state for a reason------we are made up of all different types and we have a relatively even number of everything. As a result, we take pride in finding common topics to talk about such as the ever changing and unpredictable weather, the OSU Buckeye football team, the Columbus Crew soccer team, and (most years---unfortunately not so much this year due to labor/management problems locking out at least the beginning of the season) our Columbus Blue Jacket hockey team. Well, add to that conversation the ubiquity of the ads. Besides the presidential race, we are also slammed with ads for our U.S. Senate race between old boy wonder Sherrod Brown against new boy wonder Josh Mandel. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!
I wonder if the millions and millions of dollars of ads will prove to be worth it. I am hoping that the strategists will wake up to the fact that there may be a point of diminishing returns. I don't even watch the ads. I mute them or turn them off or change channels. After all, there aren't any ads on HBO and Showtime where all of the good TV is happening anyways, and I'm not sure if the ad buyers have discovered AMC where we also see some pretty fabulous TV (Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, Walking Dead, Mad Men). The upshot is that we Ohioans (and I'm sure that the folks in Virginia, Florida, and the other handful of swing states agree) feel not only put upon but insulted by the constant barrage. But then, I'm not an undecided voter, so they aren't really aimed at the likes of me.
I made a bucket list for myself while I was getting all of those chemo treatments, and one of the items on it was that I wanted to run another half marathon. Well, the big race is next weekend. I've been training, lengthening my weekly long runs. My training schedule was marred by the intense heat this summer (I just can't run for long when it's hot-----give me 32 degrees and less any day!!), so I did my longest run just yesterday. I am 60 years old, and my time will be, let's face it, slow. I don't know if it is because I am older, or because I am still regaining my strength, or just because I'm just really not fast, but although I am running and feeling wonderful, I am still slow. I ran 12 miles yesterday and in the 2 and a half hours it took, there was alot of time to think. Hey----I'm just glad I can run two and a half hours----I still can't believe I'm capable of such a thing. As I ran past the various political signs, it occurred to me that we still have women to elect this season!!
I'm as sad as anyone that there are no women at the top of the ticket. It would have made the race electrifying for me if there had been. But alas it wasn't to be, and as such it is easy for our fervor to elect women to go underground. But it is MORE important than ever to be sure that we elect women at all levels of government. We need to keep putting women into the pipeline so that they will rise and be ready to run for president. And the only way to do it is to elect them on a more local level. We can't forget that in our country, only 16.8% of our U.S. Congress is women, only 12% of state governors are women, and of the 100 largest cities only 8% of the mayors are women. The antidote? Vote for the women who are on your ballot!!!! And send money to the women you like but can't vote for.
I went to the websites of my local Democratic and Republican parties to find out who the women were on my own ballot, and I see that I have 21 women to choose from. They are on both sides of the aisle, and I'm voting for them. In a few cases, there are two women running against one another (hey----a woman will win!!!!), so I'll have to do a little more homework. But I am familiar with most of these women who are running, so my task won't be difficult. I am lucky to vote for a woman to represent me in Congress for the first time (other than voting for myself in the 90's). This time, my district has been redrawn and the woman is likely to win. I am pouting because there isn't a woman running for the U.S. Senate seat. Ohio has never sent a female to the U.S. Senate. :(
I have sent money to a couple of women who I can't vote for, a Democrat and a Republican. One, Wendy Greuel, is running for Los Angeles mayor in 2013, and money is very very important for her right now. You can contribute to her here.
My other favorite this year who I am unable to vote for is Republican Mia Love who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives. She is fighting an uphill battle, but she is ahead right now. More money at the late stage of the campaign could make a big difference in getting her over the finish line victorious. You can make a contribution to her here.
I'm voting early some time this week, and I can honestly say that I feel good voting for the women on my ballot. I'm like the rest of you------sometimes there are some women I just can't vote for. It pains me to say that, but in the end I've decided that it is just human nature. And why should we vote for someone just because she's a female? The answer to that question is that until we women gain parity in elective office, we should attempt to vote for as many women as we can. Period. That's not asking too much. Consider it a down payment on yours, your daughters, and your granddaughters' dreams that they really can grow up to be whatever they want----including President of the United States someday.
Well wish me luck on my half marathon next week. I think I'm ready!! And also, please let me know who your favorite women are who are running for office right now. It would be interesting to hear a more local perspective from around the country.....