Allie and I got up at 5:30 and walked hand-in-hand to the polling place, arriving a little after six. The line stretched around the block. I was smiling widely as I passed all the people to find my place at the end.
As the line inched its way forward, more and more people came. A guy behind us looked around and groused, "Where is that kid? I hope he's not out smoking something. I don't trust him."
Just then a tall teen in a hooded sweatshirt crossed the street, his posture a little slumped.
"There he is!" the man said.
"Welcome to American democracy!" He said to the kid, and then to the crowd: "This is his first time voting. He's 18. Still in high school. Can you believe that?"
Everyone in line kept saying they'd never waited in line to vote before. I said to Allie, "I hate waiting in lines. But this is one line I'm glad is long."
I have a pretty strong hunch Obama is going to win in Missouri, and by a decent margin (by Missouri standards), despite the closeness of the polls. Turn out in Kansas City and St. Louis is going to be monumental. This will tip the balance in a state that is always close.
Remember, we elected a Democrat to the Senate two years ago. I didn't wait in no line on that election day.
I can get pretty cranky about humanity sometimes. But this really lifts my spirits. It is so awesome to see so many people out exercising their power as citizens -- the majority of them driven to action by a common desire for change and for a politics that transcends division. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.