Travel

Election Day, United States

Polls open at 7 this morning, but I’m awake at 5 AM ready to go. I run through a list of necessary chores like folding laundry and taking the trash bin to the curb for pick-up. Glancing up I see Venus shining through the leftover clouds to remind the waning gibbous moon that it isn’t the only show in town. Rain overnight and my ankle reminds me to get back to working out soon, if only to lose a few pounds acquired since the last hike.

The shirt selection was easy this morning. The Mount Gay Rum shirt to honor a voter who can’t be here with us today to do the one thing he wanted to do most: help vote the current President out of office. He was a Navy guy and saw through bullshit as quickly as anybody I know. I saw through it too and my vote is his vote today.

Election Day in the United States is an ebb and flow event. Some years there’s a slight buzz about the upcoming election and banter between the parties. Other years get a lot of attention, with an urgency to vote to keep the country on track. And then there’s 2020, when the worst candidate this country ever elected is up for re-election. 2020 isn’t a roar, it’s a hurricane raging over an earthquake. This year the election is setting records well before election day, with absentee ballots cast, and pre-voting in states that allow it blowing away previous voting records for entire elections.

Which brings us to today. I’m skipping the coffee this morning until after I vote, anticipating a long line to pick up my ballot. Heck, I’m expecting a long line just to get a parking spot. So no full bladder this morning, thank you. Today we vote for our representatives for Senate and the House of Representatives, for state and local officials, and we vote for President. But we vote as if nothing else matters this morning. Because in many ways, nothing else does.

The Founding Fathers gave me (as an educated white male) the right to vote in the Constitution. It took the 15th Amendment to give people of color the right to vote. And it took the 19th Amendment to finally give women the right to vote. And so here we are, finally all united, with our collective right to vote. When enough people choose to participate we get the country we want. When too many skip the election thinking it doesn’t matter we get the country we deserve. The last four years have been a lesson for those who weren’t previously paying attention. Today matters. Vote.

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