The Great Experiment

Let’s just take a moment and ponder what’s going on today.  We get to decide who becomes the most powerful person in the world.  Us, a bunch of minimum wage workers and college students and retired grandparents and CEOs and military personnel and small business owners and stay-at-home moms and artists and farmers and everyone else in between and around.  And we do it all without raising anything stronger than our hands to mark a ballot.  Whatever you think of the side you’re voting against, whatever you think of the two-party system, the fact that a peaceful transition of such awesome power begins with us is a pretty remarkable thing.

So if the line is a little longer than you expected, or if the volunteer being paid absolutely nothing for giving up their day has to spend an extra moment to look up your name, or takes a minute more to find your ballot than you think they should, the alternative is all this being done for you, without your say.  I’d say a little inconvenience once every four years is a small price to pay for exercising your rights.

I’ve made no secret where my loyalties are this go-round.  I’ve heard all the talk about the economy, and the debt, and the Republicans may very well have some valid solutions to those problems.  But as long as those ideas come tied to an agenda of exclusion, ignorance, superstition, and fear, I cannot in good conscience support them, with my voice or with my vote.  And if you’re willing to trade the health and happiness of millions of Americans for a few extra bucks in your pocket, well, enjoy your thirty pieces of silver.  You might make the economy richer, but you’ll make society poorer.  No amount of financial prosperity will salve the pain of a couple who can’t get married no matter how much they love each other.  No reduction of taxes will comfort a woman who has to add to the trauma of rape by carrying her attacker’s child to term.  No black marks in a ledger justify allowing a two-thousand year old book to steer us away from logic and science.  If that’s the price for letting the Republicans fix things, let them stay broken, because it’s a bill I don’t want to pay.

It’s fine if you disagree.  Disappointing, but fine.  As long as your position came from a place of genuine reflection and consideration, I won’t call you names, I won’t question your right to vote, I won’t call your candidate the Anti-Christ, I won’t say you hate America.  I would hope the reverse is true.  Sadly, the last four years tell me a lot of folks who disagree with me don’t think that way.  And there’s not much I can do about it except not sink to that level.  I’ll meet their hysteria with facts, their panic with reason.  It may be a losing battle, but it’s one that has to be fought, if for no other reason than my own peace of mind.

So we’ll all be up into the wee hours tonight watching numbers ebb and flow.  Just make sure you’re part of those numbers, no matter what that takes.  Whatever the outcome, do you really want to have had stayed silent in the matter?


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