Exercising Your Fundamental Right: Go Vote!

It’s the day before the Presidential election and if most Americans are like me, they’re ready to hang themselves by their own entrails.  Sure it’s a gruesome death.  Yet, it’s preferable than being subjected to the barrage of campaign commercials.  I find the ones that blatantly lie to be the very worst.  To the fellow Americans that happen to live in swing states, I feel for you. The amount of campaign ads aired are likely ten times worse.

Despite the sickening multitude of campaign ads, I urge my fellow Americans to vote.  If they haven’t taken advantage of early voting in their state, then they should consider dropping by the poll on election day tomorrow, take some time, and cast a ballot.  I’m not going to tell you who to vote for.  Like religion, it’s a personal choice and nobody’s business.

Although, while I tell my own joyous voting story, my personal preferences will be revealed and it may offend Republican, or Tea Party, readers.  (If I haven’t already done so in previous posts.)

I took advantage of early voting the weekend before last like most Americans did last weekend.  The Rachel Maddow Blog has posted many pictures and videos of early voting lines from their readers and they’re absolutely amazing.

Through the years, I’ve heard concern for lack of voting participation. I’ve even explained why people feel an absence of motivation to vote.  They perceive whatever happens in government doesn’t effect their personal lives or that all politicians are corrupt.  Why bother?

Since the beginning of the 21st Century (more accurately 2001), American have discovered that the Federal Government does affect them in several ways.  The government declares wars that risk the lives of fellow Americans, they provide disaster relief when it’s desperately needed, they can make college financial assistance more difficult, they can restrict women’s preventive health services, etc.  Increasingly, Americans are discovering the government can interfere or assist our lives in fundamentally profound and frightening ways.

Recently, the American people paid closer attention to the candidates.  I would never want to run for government office because everything in the lives the candidates are scrutinized.  Most of the microscopic lens is necessary to get a feeling for the candidate in question.  What are their personal morals?  How close are they to their religious affiliation and are their beliefs going to affect a state or country filled with people of differing religions?

Yet it isn’t as simple as choosing a candidate that seems to have the best interest of the American people at heart.

***Even I question the motives behind those running for office except a few like Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).  Sadly, the truly awesome politicians don’t represent me.

It’s the instances of voter suppression by the Republican party that are galvanizing citizens all over the country to vote.  Americans are contrary by nature.  Try to revoke our fundamental right and we’ll exorcise that right in droves.  We’ll even begin spontaneous protests in front of the polling places if we must.

Florida Voting

It’s this very contrary nature I witnessed when I voted.

When I use the early voting option, I prefer to go to my local court house.  They usually open at 8 am and close at noon.  I like to vote around 11 am and the whole process – standing in line included – takes roughly 5 minutes.

This year was another story.  I arrived at the court house and was greeted by a line.  Not a flimsy line with a few people, but an actual long line!

Perhaps in a normal situation, long lines would mildly annoy me.  Instead, I was elated.

Before, voting was an obligational job, and a form of protest against our elite two-party mentality.  Now, it’s a patriotic duty I was honored to participate.  I happily stood in line for half an hour while watching it grow even longer behind me.  As I stepped up to the voting booth, I slipped my card in the slot, voted on a state constitutional provision, and proceeded to vote an all Democrat ticket.  I didn’t look at the name of the person I was voting for.  To me, this year’s vote was personal.  I’ve spent more than a year being sickened and insulted by the Republican party.  As President Barack Obama stated recently, voting was a form of revenge.

Yes, I knew about most of the candidates I voted for.  I also knew about the Republican agenda, what they’ve tried to do in other states, and the damage I perceive they would cause if given complete Federal control.  Headlines raced through my mind as I marked each of those Democrat boxes:  Restriction of women’s rights, “getting rid” of the Affordable Care Act, the force feeding of religious ideals against my will, the multitude of shameful lies, etc.

Voting was a highly cathartic experience.  As I returned my card to the attendant, I picked up an “I Voted” sticker and proudly wore it for the rest of the day.  (Now it adorns my iPad case.)

My only regret is that I had to pick between two elite parties as a matter of survival.

Monday afternoon as I was driving home from work, I saw a sign on the front lawn that said, “Vote all incumbents out!”  I loved that sign and everything it said to me.

Unfortunately, I could’t do that in this election.  I feared the Tea Partiers that are challenging incumbent Democrats and the Tea Partiers already infesting our government too much to indulge in such ideologies.  After all, I set aside my own ideology for this election.

Among all the lies, the mudslinging, and fear mongering, I was happy to find a positive that was the euphoric feeling I received from voting.  I try to block out the past months and subdue my anger at the continuing political battle by remembering that my vote is already cast.

Yet, I sometimes wonder what I would do if the Republicans took over out government and dramatic changes were to occur.  Would I leave the country and change my citizenship?  If the opportunity presented itself, I would.  Otherwise, I’ll likely fight back through my words and signing as many petitions as necessary to subvert Republicans and any unscrupulously radical laws they try to enact.

Note: I have changed my comment settings.  It is no longer necessary to be a member of WordPress.com to post a comment!  I look forward to reading many more comments from my readers!

One thought on “Exercising Your Fundamental Right: Go Vote!

  1. alb822 says:

    Excellent. It’s important for EVERYONE to vote. Doesn’t matter how you feel. No vote counts towards the undervote. Political pundits use it in their analyses. Also, the down ballot is massively important. Local candidates, judicial choices, proposals, etc. all play a vital role in creating future policies. Regardless of party affiliations, a ballot speaks for the person submitting it. Straight ticket, mixed, doesn’t matter. Just vote.

    Having said all that — If Mittens wins, the state AGs need to check for fraud. That man gives snakes a bad name.

    NOTE: Removing the WordPress requirement — it’s a good thing. Thanx.

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