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Nov 8, 2022·edited Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I voted for Walter Mondale in 1984. I had to vote 3 times 'til my guy got in - Clinton, 1992. I recall telling my son this when he first voted in 2016. (What a first election, right?) it took EIGHT YEARS 'til I was able to say, "Oh, this is what WINNING feels like." (He only had to wait four, of course.)

I vividly recall waiting in line in the East Village to vote for Clinton and sensing he was going to win even before I entered the booth. The feeling in the streets - a party was imminent. A first for me. Even though I voted in '84 and '88, I have no recollection of waiting in line, and no sense my guys - Mondale, Dukakis - would win.

I recall watching Clinton on TV and seeing, for the first time in my memory, a candidate with "the eye of the tiger." Thinking: "This guy really, really wants this. In his mind, he has already won." Like an elite athlete. Marveling at his rock star magnetism, hearing women murmur about that. The only woman I'd ever heard murmur about a candidate's attractiveness was my grandmother swooning over Reagan. (SO UPSETTING.)

Those last days when Clinton lost his voice, but kept going, relentless. The first president, incredibly, to say the word "AIDS" in a speech, which caused pandemonium. As a Southerner, I was captivated by his deep Arkansas-ness, his origin story - poverty, single mom, etc - combined with his masterful oratory power. I knew/know Southern folks like that - folksy yet erudite. He was showfolk.

I dug his wife, too. Without whom none of the above would have happened.

Of course he disappointed me in a lot of ways. A LOT OF WAYS. And IMHO he did much to lay the foundation for DJT and what we're dealing with now. But that was all to come.

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

The first election I voted in was the 1992 presidential election. I was a freshman in college at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. I cast my vote absentee since my permanent address was still listed as my parents' house, back in the small town of Chilton, WI.

I was raised in a very conservative household, and while I had many liberal leanings by this time, I was still not feeling sufficiently confident in my own beliefs. What I remember about that first vote was that I caved in on pressure from my parents and extended family and ultimately cast a vote for George HW Bush. I remember not feeling good about it, and in every election since I have felt the strong desire to make sure that my vote is an expression of MY beliefs, and my beliefs alone.

Of course, by today's standards, Bush 41 is a pretty moderate conservative, but I was still relieved when Bill Clinton won the election and I learned something about myself and electoral responsibility from that experience.

I'll add that the first election I remember at all was the 1980 presidential election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. I was all of 6 years old, and knowing nothing at all about politics or policy, I do remember being sad that the guy named "Jimmy" lost because he had the same first name as me.

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I had to be 21 to vote. Voted for Hubert H. Humphrey against the crook Nixon! (although not if you look at Nixon's thoughts on health care and taxes he was probably more liberal than Obama. Voted in every election ever since. What an Honor!

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I turned 18 in 1995, and I first voted in 1996 for Bill Clinton. I don't remember how it made me feel. Optimistic? I'm jaded now. I still vote but it's the bare minimum I can do.

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Same here! Turned 18 in 1995 and voted for Clinton via mail in ballot from college in 1996.

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Same! I was excited to get to vote in a presidential year my very first time.

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

As a result of the 26th Amendment, I was able to vote in the 1972 election. I was going to college in Toledo, Ohio, majoring in journalism. I was not particularly liberal, but as someone immersed in First Amendment issues, I found Nixon scary. I recall thinking that if McGovern was the [socialist] danger he was presented as, the country would survive; if Nixon was the danger I thought he was, we might not. I believed that while most people would not admit to pollsters that they were voting for McGovern, they would do so in the privacy of the voting booth. I was stunned to see the enormity of his defeat.

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My aunt was Sargent Shriver's personal secretary (as they called it then) and when Shriver was picked as McGovern's running mate she went on the road with the campaign. It was pretty exciting to get reports from campaign trail particularly the one where Robert Redford came to her hotel room and sat on her bed and asked her all about being involved in a presidential race. I think his movie The Candidate was just about to come out.

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Not sure if it was my *first* time but I do remember voting for incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980, when I was 21. I assumed he would win because, well, let's just say I had a rather limited understanding of the electorate. Reagan's landslide win was a real eye-opener for me.

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I voted for John Kennedy in 1960. I was not an enthusiastic supporter. His brother was a pal of Roy Cohn and I was not at all sure JFK, with his movie star looks and his wealth, would be the progressive leader I wanted. Didn't take long for me to join a demonstration at the United Nations protesting the country's warlike attitude toward Cuba.

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I voted for Carter in 1980, the first of many elections where my candidate lost. I vote in every election; national, local, mid-terms, etc. I've only voted for a Republican twice—the same guy, Richard Riordan —for mayor of Los Angeles. He was very centrist and seemed "non political" and the Dems were fielding candidates that I thought just wouldn't do as good a job. Other than those two votes, I've voted blue all down the line, every single time. I do believe today's election is the most consequential in my lifetime. Trump in 2016 was a wake-up call, but today's results could have even farther reaching consequences. I'm really very anxious and worried about it.

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Nov 8, 2022·edited Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I voted in the 1972 presidential election and clearly remember the disappointment and outrage when Nixon defeated Senator George McGovern. Ever since that happened, I made sure I cast my ballot but it is disheartening to watch what is happening with our fractured system. And I thought the Vietnam War was scary!

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

Wise woman. My parents pushed me out the door to canvas for McCarthy and I worked very hard as a teenager for McGovern even though I wasn't old enough to vote.

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

Mondale/Ferraro was my first vote as well. I ate a lot of magic mushrooms back in those days, but I could still contribute as a member of society. On days like this I have to remember: “There is a silence into which the world cannot intrude. There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart, and have not lost. There’s a sense of holiness in you that the thought of sin has never touched. All this today you will remember.”

Here’s hoping we aren’t overwhelmed by the lowest form of human consciousness.

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1988 - turned 18, graduated high school, started college, voted!

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Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

I voted for Carter in 1972; haven't ever regretted that (can't say the same about Nader....).

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I canvassed for Nader, but came to my senses and voted for Gore at the last minute.

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Nov 8, 2022·edited Nov 8, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

Embarrassingly, I have my insipid diary entry for that:

Tuesday, September 14, 1971

Shelli and I made out for a while and she tried on a new nightgown for me. Gary called to tell us that he saw Mikey today, and there will be a Mugwump meeting tomorrow. He said he also ran into Dick, who’s trying to get a job as a copy boy with the New York Post.

Shelli and I went down the block to Avenue N to the American Legion hall, where I voted in the Democratic primary. My first vote – and all I could vote for was two out of three candidates for Civil Court Judge, the only offices on the ballot.

All the election ladies seemed shocked to see such a young long-haired freak participate in the democratic process. They kept staring at me and one sort of rolled her eyes. Of course, people under 21 could never vote before today.

On the way to drop Shelli home, I went with her as she voted in Meyer Levin, my old junior high. I walked around, and it was really freaky, as I spent a good part of the years 1962 to 1965 there.

Big day tomorrow. I start my junior year of college.

https://thoughtcatalog.com/richard-grayson/2013/08/a-20-year-olds-diary-entries-from-early-november-1971/

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Wow!

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Hello, young Oldster! First election I voted in was, I think, 1972, for George McGovern, over-matched against Nixon and Agnew's second term. As Bonnie West points out, Nixon was much more "liberal" in policies than some Democrats today. And certainly more ruthless. No matter what happens later, I think a Dem meme should be "We need a crook like Nixon!"

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The first presidential election I voted in was in 1976 and I voted for Jimmy Carter. I remember sobbing on election night in 1980 when Reagan was elected and thinking nothing would ever be the same. I was born in 1956 and have seen real ups and downs in the American political scene but I could NEVER imagine we would be on the cusp of true fascism.

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