This isn’t a real blog post. I’d say it’s a demi-post at best. I just felt the need to get up on my soapbox for a moment. It seems to be the day for that.
I’m not an overtly political person. I’ve been a proud Independent since the day I turned eighteen, and that’s not about to change. People often mistake my lack of party identification or my reluctance to discuss politics as signs of apathy, when in fact they’re quite the opposite. I’m extremely passionate about voting and the democratic process, which is why I do my utmost to make myself informed and uninfluenced by party bias when I step into the voting booth. Voting is the ultimate expression of democratic freedom, and I get a bit riled up when people a) insist that voting doesn’t matter, b) refuse to vote in some misguided protest attempt, and/or c) vote blindly along party lines (my dislike of binaries is a whole separate issue, and will likely be the subject of another post). Men fought and died to establish this right for the people of this country, a right for which, over the last 200+ years, additional groups have fought and died to extend to each and every citizen equally.
It should never be taken lightly.
Whoever you end up voting for, I sincerely hope that you vote. Obviously, since I voted myself, I have a preference on which candidates prevail in their respective races, but I cannot begrudge my fellow citizens for choosing differently from myself. Democracy entitles each of us to our opinion, after all, and voting is how we express those opinions. My only hope is that you did not take this freedom lightly, and that you weighed and considered your options carefully before casting your ballot (not just for president, but for all offices up for election, because all of them matter).
For my part, I strode into that church basement in a Wonder Woman t-shirt (red, white, and blue) with a literary anthology under my arm (just in case of a line), and, while I didn’t get a sticker, I walked out feeling proud that I had participated in the third presidential election of my adult life. I went home and poured a celebratory beer, because today I was an active participant in the forging of history. True, I am but a single vote amid millions, and it is unlikely that a single vote will make any difference, but it takes those single vote to make those millions. You know, ‘E pluribus unum’ and all that jazz.
Cheers, America. Happy voting.