Museum Notes 11-06-2020

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I’m writing this article on Monday, November 2, 2020. By the time you read it in the newspaper, the election will be over. Hopefully, we will know the results, but I fear it may be a repeat of 2000. I remember that winter; I watched and ingested everything I could about the disputed election results. I remember Bush and Gore waiting for Florida to finish counting those sunshine chad cards. I remember the angst I felt, my co-workers felt, and really the entire nation felt. It didn’t matter which political side you were on, there was undeniable angst. Now, here we are again, 20 years later. Everywhere I look, there is angst. Except this time it is literally EVERYWHERE I look. Social media is dominated with political ads and heated arguments between people, often with downright hateful comments slung at each other. I feel angst again. I know others feel it too. The one thing I can say for certain is, at least it isn’t like Iraqi elections. When I was serving in Iraq, I had the privilege to sit in the war room as the collected Generals of the US Army, Iraqi Army, and Iraqi Police hammered out how they would secure polling sites with armed soldiers and police to ensure their citizens could vote without being blown up by bombs. They would sweep the polling sites many days in advance and set up guards to ensure terrorists didn’t have the chance to sneak in improvised explosive devices. The polling sites, often schoolhouses, would be surrounded with blast proof walls reaching as high as 12 feet tall, with a maze entrance that snaked back and forth. I remember watching the Iraqi people, one by one, being frisked from head to toe for weapons before they could go in to vote. And I remember, one by one, those same Iraqis walking out with smiles on their faces, holding up their inked index finger, showing that they had voted. I want to think that America will never get to that point. I really hope so. So, good luck my fellow Americans. I hope we all can let go of our angst soon.


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