Not Talking about Politics

See no politics, hear no politics, speak no politics
I've taken a vow to stop swearing and to stop talking about politics in public. It's tough.

I mean, really tough. The politics part, that is. As for the swearing, #@!*.

Why would I take such a vow? Well, aside from the utter futility of talking about politics and swearing, I'm trying to project a certain image here on the internet. Professional, you know. Cool. Artistic. Above the fray. Okay, so it's fake. Maybe I can live into it.

I was raised to be political. My side of the family were political from their cradles. My grandfather managed the campaign of his cousin, Burton Hill, who served two terms in the Canadian parliament in the nineteen-thirties. My father ran for the Maine state legislature and lost by thirteen votes. (He could have been Ed Muskie.) As a child I was lulled to sleep by the sounds coming over my parents' radio of politicians speechifying at the national party conventions. Large echo chambers. Loud cheers. It was somehow soporific. Both parties, because politics was a sport then, and conventions had uncertain outcomes. My parents weren't activists by the time my sister and I came along, but they were keenly interested spectators.

The night of the Kennedy vs. Nixon election I retired to the rec room with the boy I was dating to hold hands and listen to music. "Aren't you going to watch the election results with us?" my mother said. "No," said my date, "It doesn't matter which one of them wins. They're both the same." My mother was outraged. Later she managed to break us up.

Time passed. (Rather a lot of time.) For many years now I've been married to a nice man who puts up with my morning rants and curses, delivered at the breakfast table while reading the political news in the paper. I'm not an activist, except every few years, when extraordinary circumstances compel me go to Trenton or Washington and march and chant with a group of like-minded people. Those of you who know me well know that I have very strong views. I must confess that I thoroughly enjoy the political Facebook postings of most of my friends. But I don't repost them because everyone has already made up his mind about the coming election and nothing I might have to say will sway them. Not even cursing will help now.

I will say this: Get your #&& to the polls on November 6 and vote. And now I'll be quiet.

Kate Gallison