Why Vote?

Tomorrow is Election Day 2016. It seemed as if we would NEVER get here — it feels like the country’s been enduring Chinese Water Torture. The randomly spaced drips of political outrageousness make us crazy.

In another blog, I’ll post what we can do to limit the citizen’s torture season. But tomorrow, I want you, the American voter, to cast off your disgust and vote. If you are an employer, make sure your employees have time to vote. If you’re a parent with a gaggle of kids in tow, skip their “must win” soccer game and vote. Take them into the voting area and tell them to sit down and be quiet. This is the political equivalent of church. Know someone who need a ride to the polls, pick them up.

Why vote? Both candidates are less than appealing. But vote you must. You owe it to a lot of people.

You owe it to the people

  • who founded the republic and put their lives and fortunes on the line against King George III
  • to the Founding Fathers who wrote a beautiful Constitution (that needs a little work)
  • who fought in war to keep the nation free — and voting —  especially those who gave the “last full measure of devotion”
  • who returned from war maimed in body or spirit
  • whose life mission was making sure that “pale males of property” weren’t the only voters. Since the Civil War, we’ve included damned near everyone over 18: women, people of color and those once in bondage
  • who toil at the polls — often retirees who have to work a 12 hour shift lest something fishy happen at shift change
  • who are your children. You are modeling good citizenship when you vote
  • who were your ancestors who couldn’t vote, whether because of gender or skin color. Many of them had universal suffrage as their life’s work; some died in the process.
  • who, around the world, cannot vote. All the disenfranchised look to the US not just for bluejeans and iPads, but for our right to vote
  • to those who perished at the hands of despots, whose only crime was being the wrong religion, the wrong ethnic group, or just being an  “other.” Their voices whisper in your ears, “Vote because we never got a chance to.”

Finally, claim your right to vote because you can. You have to exercise that voting right. It is as scared as the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. If you don’t use it, you might lose it one day. Voting is the civilian defense of freedom.

Who you vote for is your decision and yours alone. A lot of people paved your path to the polls, so you better show up. Yes, it would be best to vote FOR someone instead of AGAINST the other one, but that’s not whose names are on the ballot.

Just hold your nose and do it. It is your responsibility.