Thou shalt decide for yourself…

Tuesday November 6, 2012 is election day in America

Election Day in the United States occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

I’m not going to attempt to predict the 2012 election results.  The polls seem to give President Barack Obama an advantage over Governor Mitt Romney, but it’s going to be a close race, and we may not know who our next President will be until really late Tuesday night.

According to the L.A Times, the 2012 presidential election is likely to be decided by undecided voters in a few swing states.

How can people still be undecided?

I’m not going to comment, I’ll just end up shouting.

A sign in Cape Town

When I’m at a loss for words I turn to poetry. The following poem is by one of my favorite poets Langston Hughes:

I, Too, Sing America

by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Knopf and Vintage Books.

James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri and
died in May 1967, in New York.

He wrote about his people’s suffering, and their love of music, laughter, and language.

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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46 Responses to Thou shalt decide for yourself…

  1. I agree. I can’t believe a lot are still undecided yet. We don’t even have to look back that far to decide which one to vote. We need change and we need actions not promises. I am choosing the one who will give the hard working middle income families a breather. I was told next year, I have to pay higher insurance premiums because of the newly approved medical bill. I was like, “Really? I’m already paying $1,000 per month!” My co-workers are feeling the same pain. I hope this time people really think and vote right. Oh, I did not mention who I voted too. Politics is a hot topic that cause some people do crazy stuff. Ha, ha, ha.

  2. souldipper says:

    I saw that very same sign in South Africa, Rosie! I visited those little guys. They were all molting at the time and very grouchy!

    Yah, the vote…as a Canadian I live in dread that my country’s people ever give me such heart murmurs! Yike!

    • dearrosie says:

      I wonder how many many people are bitten by penguins even with the Table Mountain National Park warning sign. Ouch!
      What time of the year do penguins molt? I was there in March.

      You live in a great country. Have you seen much of our election coverage on your TV news?

  3. Damn, Rosie, that Langston Hughes poem is perfect, isn’t it? Wow. I’m ashamed to say I’d not read that one before–I don’t think. Surely, I can’t be right about that. ANd the sign from Cape Town—–perfect! I’m crossing fingers, toes, everything I’ve got, about today! Happy election day, my friend.

    • dearrosie says:

      I found a poem that you don’t know? Wow. I’m so delighted to share this marvelous poem with you Kathy. He’s one of a handful of poets who can capture so much with so few words.
      It sounds as though you’re going to search out other poems by Langston Hughes. He’s brilliant, most of his poems leave me gasping for air and feeling as though I’ve been punched in the gut.

      I assume you’re commenting on the penguin sign and not the one on “thou shalt…” They were both from Cape Town.

      I was out at about 8:30 this morning and noticed lines of people snaking round the corner at a couple of church polling stations. I’ve never seen lines like that before on election day – well except for the last election – so can we assume that a large voter turnout is a good sign?

  4. It may be a long day waiting.

  5. Sybil says:

    How can anyone be undecided.! The basic philosophies of your Republican and Democrat parties are pretty clear.

    I have a question. Why has the Republican party not borne the blame for the 2008 meltdown and housing-crisis ? It was their system of lack of oversight and government regulation that caused the whole damn thing !

    As a Canadian who is mortified that we have a Conservative Prime Minister with a majority government, you can guess who I’d vote for ! Amusingly enough, our right-wing PM is still to the LEFT of your current President.
    (Our majority elected PM got in with 37 % of the vote as the leftie vote was split between three leftie parties)

    • dearrosie says:

      It doesn’t make sense that people are still undecided. Are you going to watch American TV news tonight? The stations have a lot of air-time to fill in so they usually find undecided voters walking out of the polling stations and ask them what helped them make up their minds.

      You won’t hear apologies from the Republican Party.

      Interesting to learn that Canada’s right-wing PM is still to the LEFT of President Obama.

  6. I do not know much about the election, except that it will decide the fate of the world, too.

    I am amazed at how you mixed politics and penguins. Do penguins bite? I did not know!

    I like the poem, too. Must read more from the poet. I confess I am getting more and more drawn towards poetry as well.

    All the best to you and yours!

    • dearrosie says:

      The American election does decide the fate of the world, that’s why it’s so scary to see what makes people vote as they do…. Sheesh!

      Penguins most certainly bite or they wouldn’t have put up the sign. I personally cannot tell you more about their biting habits because once I saw that sign I kept well away from them – cute as they are.

      When you said you were “amazed how I mixed politics and penguins” is that a complement at my skill as a blogger? 🙂

      It takes great skill to capture so much with so few words. I shared Langston Hughes poetry before when I had no readers

  7. Oh my goodness, Rosie! This is just perfect!! I love the Langston Hughes poem, and it sets me in such a strong and positive, yet eyes-wide-open, caution for the day. Sadly I am not expecting the best in people today. I’ve already heard a few comments that made my teeth hurt, but you know, it’s what I carry around in my own resolve to behave and speak with civility that will keep me grounded. I think undecided voters might consider staying home??? oxo

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh my I’ve also heard too many comments that made my teeth ache and gave me a headache in my stomach, but I’ve got hope because I’ve also heard pearls of wisdom coming out of young mouths….

      I’m glad to be able to share the Langston Hughes poem with you. It’s one I’m going to learn – a great way to help keep me grounded.

  8. I think that undecided voters are very thoughtful and well educated people who aren’t deciding along party lines or base issues, but who are taking so many of America’s greatest concerns into consideration and weighing the pros and cons. One of my dearest friends is still undecided. She has a little while to figure it out and I have already cast my vote. Both candidates have their weak and strong points. I just hope we can all pull together as one nation when the decision becomes final.
    Love your poem. So appropriate.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m so glad you popped in and told us about your friend Renee. I hoped folks would join in the discussion and explain first hand stories about the undecided voters. If your friend hasn’t decided yet on the day of voting, what is going to help her make her decision?

      I also hope we can pull through as one nation when the results are known.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Good words Rosie … even on the day after. There is a segment of undecideds that lies in the fact that the final decision will be made in the voting booth – thus they keep their leans to themselves. Nonetheless, it’s over and without involvement by the courts!

    • dearrosie says:

      This is a happy day for us Frank. What a relief that it didn’t have to end up in the courts. I send you my personal thank you that Ohio did the right thing 🙂

      I still don’t understand those undecided voters. I hope to one day have an opportunity of meeting some of them and hearing their explanation.

  10. Rosie, darling — I can’t believe (well, yes I can) that you chose this poem by this Langston Hughes to feature on your blog at this moment. When I was in 9th grade in the most segregated high school ever — my teacher sat on a stool and read us “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes — and it totally rocked my suburban world. I’ve loved his poetry ever since .. but more importantly .. this election is about so much more than mere politics. It is symbolic of what this country stands for and has always stood for — a ridiculous, giddy, beautiful clarion call for freedom … for the chance to make your dreams come true, for freedom in whatever form you decide it comes and for people with a wild imagining of all that could mean … so happy to hear from you today, of all days! love you, Rosie!! xooxo b

    • dearrosie says:

      Gosh Betty the fact that you never forgot a little poem your teacher read to you in 9th grade, is a perfect illustration of the power of poetry!

      “A Dream Deferred” is brilliant and just 11 lines. It begins:

      “What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore–
      And then run? …”

      It was a dream come true last night when President Obama stood on that stage surrounded by his beautiful family – goodness his girls have grown in four years 🙂 – and acknowledged our vote for his second term.

      Lovely to hear from you today Betty especially as I know you’re traveling somewhere far from home…

  11. bronxboy55 says:

    The poem made me think of all those amazing entertainers — right up until the 1960s (and later?) — who were superstars on stage at luxury hotels, but weren’t allowed to sleep in the rooms. Wonderful post, Rosie. Are you relieved the election is over? The process seems to drag on longer and longer every time.

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh god Charles what hypocrisy to ask black entertainers to sing on the stages of their luxury hotels but not to sleep in the hotel bedrooms. Though the US didn’t have a government endorsed policy of apartheid, it was just as restrictive as South Africa.

      I am relieved the election is over. There was way too much advertising, both TV and radio, and it was just aggravating getting all those phone calls and mail at my house.

  12. munchow says:

    At least the undecided voters – that actually voted – made the right choice I believe. Will USA and the world be a better place in four years from now? Not necessarily, but surely must better than it otherwise would have been. Congratulations with the election!

  13. Val says:

    Well, it’s over now – or just beginning, or just continuing – as Obama is back in. If I’d been American, I’d have been one of those voting him in – both this time and last time. And Priya is correct that it decides the fate of the world, too – something I think a huge number of Americans don’t think about which is why when I saw all the ‘this is just a local vote’ thing, it annoyed me. But anyway – it’s done now.

    As for penguins biting… pecking badly yes, but they can’t bite as they don’t have teeth (that I know of!) 🙂

    Love the poem, by the way.

    • dearrosie says:

      It’s unfortunately true that too many Americans have no idea that what goes on here influences the rest of the world. You live in Wales, Priya in India, Amy, Sybil and Charles in Canada, Otto in Norway yet you were all concerned about our election.

      Penguins don’t have teeth but I’d imagine that a bite from their beak would be darn painful.

      Do you know Langston Hughes poetry? I’m going to learn this one.

  14. The poem was an excellent choice for reflection on such a vitally important day! The suspense of the last few weeks was hard to bear and I’m so happy and relieved that the election results were determined so quickly and that our dear President can now roll up his sleeves and get back to work without all the distractions.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m also relieved that it’s over. We were in the middle of a local election battle and my mailbox was drowning in ads dissing the other party, and quite honestly at the end I got so tired of all the phone calls telling me what I should do that I stopped answering the phone.

  15. Very nice reflective poem for the big day, Rosie 🙂 Nice to read something that was even keeled and pleasant about the election! I have to admit, even as a Canadian watching all of the vitriol flying around Facebook and the blogs and everywhere, I was really kind of put off of the whole thing! Your post was very welcome reprieve 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Delighted to know you enjoyed the poem, Anne. It fascinates me to learn how my blogging buddies all over the world were as stressed out about the election as we were.

  16. Okay, a doctor friend explained it to me and looks like it doesn’t have to do with my insurance premiums. Sorry, I was kind of ignorant about this stuff. Honestly, I try to stay from political issues even when I was still in the Philippines because it just stresses me out. I hope and pray that a new , better dawn awaits America. I hope President Obama make all our hopes for a better , brighter future come true. I didn’t realize that 7 year olds already discussed politics in school but my son told me a few days ago, “The president didn’t give enough funding for our school last year.” I told him, “Let’s give him a chance. I bet he will this year.”

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m so happy to learn that your friend the doctor took the time to explain the situation. Thank you for writing back to tell me.

      You’re a good man IT, and a good father and from what you’ve told us on your blog your son is a very smart kid, so I’m sure he understands a lot about the way things get done in this country. All his teacher has to do is tell the kids that they don’t have so-and-so in the classroom because “The president didn’t give our school enough money last year.”

  17. Love your post and especially the wonderful Langston Hughes poem. Thanks for sharing! I love the quote: Thou shalt decide for yourself!” Yes!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Cathy,
      It’s always a pleasure to welcome someone new to my blog. Being a blogger has made the world into a much smaller, more friendly place. I would never have met you, living all the way away in Oman in any other way. I’m really looking forward to seeing that beautiful part of the world via your blog.

      Isn’t that quote just perfect?

  18. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Rosie, I came to your blog today after reading about the lunch you had with Debra in Pasadena. I’ve been following her blog for about 18 months and she spoke so highly of you and your postings, that I just had to visit.

    Langston Hughes has always been a favorite poet of mine. And I especially like blogs that bring in poetry–whether poems by poets of the past or contemporary poets.

    See you again! Peace.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m delighted to welcome one of Debra’s long-time followers. Thank you for taking the time to let me know you were here, and for your very kind comment.

      I popped over to your blog. You are an exceptional story-teller, your writing is honest and heartfelt. I look forward to reading more of it.

  19. Kathy says:

    So enjoyed “I, too, am America.” I think we are much bigger than we ever imagine.

  20. shoreacres says:

    I am an American, too. To hear many people talk about it, I ought to be run out of the country for my choice. I have deep, deep fears for this country, and I hope beyond hope that I’m completely wrong.

  21. Robin says:

    Enjoyed the poem and your signs very much. 🙂 I’m so glad the election is over. I couldn’t figure out how anyone could be undecided either, but maybe that’s because the choice was so clear for me, and I don’t fall for those talking points (from either side).

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