Tuesday, November 8, 2016
BLC Day 8: I Voted... Did You?
I am a self-confessed news junkie, especially that of the political variety. On any given day, you can find me consuming the programming on MSNBC and CNN (and sometimes even Fox), often engaged in one-sided, sometimes profanity-laced "conversations" with the pundits as they opine on the events of the day, week, month and/or season. When election time comes rolling around, I try to take time to acquaint myself with the candidates and/or issues on the upcoming ballot. And. I. Never. Ever. Miss a primary or general election. Not ever. In fact, I've often quipped that I don't care if the only item on the ballot is the office of local dog catcher - I'm voting!
Part of the reason why I'm so adamant about exercising my right is the awareness of sacrifices made by those who have come before me. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience take this right for granted or squander its opportunity - a principle I've tried to instill in my children. I've asked them multiple times this season "Are you voting?", only to be given a lackluster "Yeah, I guess so." I understand their conflict. I remember my first presidential election in 1984, a year where the candidate nominated by my party didn't excite me, either. But, as an adult, you have to recognize what is at stake, put on your big boy/girl pants and do what you know you must.
Of all of the presidential campaign seasons I've observed, this one of 2016 has been the most distasteful, divisive and repulsive I've ever observed. The fear mongering, hatred and vitriol spewed by the Republican candidate has lowered our national discourse to an embarrassing level. For example, when the RNC held one of its primary debates here in Detroit last year, this guy actually made veiled references to his virility and sexual prowess. REALLY? WHO DOES THAT?!! His behavior has been so repugnant that I can no longer stomach looking at his face on my TV screen as the various news outlets provide him with free airtime so they can be the first to report on the outrageous rhetoric to ooze from his lips. And what about the outright - and dare I say, easily verifiable - fabrications he has disgorged? As if we didn't hear anything he previously said to completely contradict what he just said!
But, after 19 long and despicable months, we have finally reached the point where we, the people, cast our vote for the 45th president of the United States. I took this day off work so I could make it to my polling place early to cast my vote and be able to follow the news coverage. However, I found myself so eager to vote that I actually went to my city clerk's office last Saturday to complete and submit an absentee ballot. So, most of the TVs in my home will be turned on so I can be within earshot to catch all of the action right up until tonight when a winner has been declared. No matter what your politics or party leanings, I encourage you to get out and make your voice heard by casting your vote. Many people have surrendered so much to ensure you have this right - don't waste it. Your vote really does count... just ask Al Gore!
(Ah, the good 'ole days of 2000. And I thought that election was unprecedented!)
Be blessed - and VOTE!!