Sunday, October 14, 2012

Politics is as personal as ever, day 2: Traffic

          Lest you think this series is going to be a long list of sob stories about my children's runny diapers, today I'm going with something short and trite.  But no less important, mind you.  Here goes:
          Thanks to the Obama administration I was late picking up my daughter from camp just about every day during the summer of 2009.  Seriously.  No matter what time I started trying to harangle Moon Boy and Ankle Biter into their car seats, no matter how early we got on the road, we were always late.  Because of traffic jams.  Now, if you've never lived in Portland, Maine you can't know how weird that is.  Because Portland doesn't really have traffic worth noting.  Literally.  As in, there are no traffic reports.  There are maybe three stop lights you might have to wait at through a couple of cycles depending on the time of day.  But other than that, if someone is late, everyone just assumes  either the draw bridge is up or the train's passing through.  That's pretty much it.  Except the summer of 2009 the traffic moved like glaciers before global warming. Why?
          The Stimulus Package (please read in a low ominous voice over).
          That's right.  There was construction everywhere.  Suddenly potholes that had been around so long they'd been named after former governors, were tip top priority.  Gone.  Just like that.  Without any time to say goodbye.  No matter which route I took, lanes were reduced.  Flashing orange lights told me to merge, and I sat still in 20, 30, 60 mile/hour zones, looking at construction workers sweating in the afternoon sun.  And usually most of them were working really hard.  But not always.  Sometimes they were just smoking and yucking it up on the side of the road there.  But I didn't mind.  I mean, I take breaks sometimes at work, it's just that my work place isn't the side of a road, so nobody knows but me.
          And at the end of the summer, after our collective tax dollars had spent all that money keeping those smokers off of unemployment, you know what we had in Portland?  Really good roads.


  1. I LOVE this concept, Liz. Mind if I adopt a similar behavior in my own small space? My life is directly impacted by Obama's Healthcare plan. I have a Total Hip Replacement (THR) on the right side. I've changed jobs and, subsequently, health insurance since having the procedure. If anything goes wrong with my THR in the future, my current health insurance CANNOT refuse me treatment on the basis of pre-existing condition. Thank you, Barack!


    1. Monte, Please! Yes! That's the idea. It's incredible the number of ways this administration has affected our day to day lives. The idealist in me believes that if people really care about each other, and they know what the President's policies have done for us, they can't possible vote against him. I mean, without that change in policy your life could have been completely limited by health insurance options... unable to change jobs, move, etc.... how could anyone who cares about you vote against that? Foolish I know, but we get so caught up in macro level soundbites, I just want a chance to see what happens if people start talking about the real ways policy impacts them personally. If you do post something about your experience please let me know; I'd love to share the link.


  2. So, I got your email today...enjoyed your article and thought WHO is this and why am I getting this...googled your blog ang have say here this. Afternoon thorough enjoying you writing/ your life! Thank you for what you are saying, and doing for your children, other children and adults
    If you live in Ohio baby you better talk it up and VOTE! There is a lot of hate and repression in America. It is good to count and remember the good this President is trying and has done!
    We have good jobs,insurance etc. my daughter graduated with. mBA and got a job starting in August,but her college insurance ended in May and the jobs insurance didn't, kick in until Oct. she has pre existing conditions and panicked us all, even rhough we had $$$ to try to solve the problem. Terrifying!