My liberal friends and I prepared for Election Day like survivalists. Or like some folks did back in the "duck and cover" days when people had those bunkers supposedly filled with provisions enough to last 'til the radioactive dust settled after the nuclear holocaust we were so sure was just around the corner.
The polling place I usually go to -- the local Sheriff's office just down the street -- was closed down this year. So I ventured out to the alternative this time, the local Grocery store, and stood in line. It was boring. It was maddeningly inefficient. It was cold (we extended the line down the frozen food aisle) and it was educational.
Voting can be a hassle with all I have to do as a single mom and co-parent. It's even more frustrating with our current gridlocked political climate. And still I vote because our ancestors laid down their lives for me to be able to walk over to my local park with no harassment or thought for my life and cast my vote.
The results taken together are consistent with a view of the political extremist as thoughtful and confident, not unthinking. This does not mean of course that extreme political positions are necessarily sound or that they are not biased in other ways, but it does raise doubts about the mindless ideologue stereotype.