Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote

Well, today is election day, of course, and I can't let it go by without a comment. Since the purpose of this journal, ostensibly, is to record for Maddie and others what my experiences and thoughts are/were, this entry is not therefore about politics but voting, specifically what it means to me.

It is symbolic to me that I wait until the Election Day to actually cast my vote. The threat of long lines--much as I, typical American, detest waiting for anything--is no deterrence. For one thing, as many times as I have voted, I have never once had to wait on line longer than a half an hour. This is simply low voter turnout defined.

Of course, if everyone in my neighborhood decides to get up and go down to the middle school at the end of the block, we could indeed have a long line. But if only those who are self aware and conscientious enough to vote get up and go down there, suffice it to say that the numbers are greatly reduced. If the numbers from past elections are any guide, less than half of those eligible will get out and vote today.

So we are now back from the polling place and sure enough, there was no wait. No line but there was what looked like a steady stream of folks going in and out. Certainly the booths were for the most part occupied when I stepped up, so I guess that over the course of a day, perhaps more than half of us will make the effort.

Politics is an overworked topic, especially by this time, but the culmination of the many months that led up to this day is personal and tactile. It is something that I get to do, at long last, in response to the whole show and charade. This small act of casting my ballot isn't much, by many standards, but by others it is the single most important act of a responsible citizen. I feel privileged to be allowed to act as as a citizen of the United States, and, even if part of me says that it is simply symbolic, or even futile (here in Texas), I will not allow negativity to overcome my sense of pride.

My most fervent hope is that whoever is elected President, he will validate that pride with responsible and positive action.

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