08 November 2016

The Vote

It's finally here! Election Day! The day we can bid a bitter but fond farewell to the endless campaign commercials, angry, ugly rhetoric, and Alec Baldwin's genius portrayal of the Republican candidate for President on SNL. Although, if I'm honest, I'd like to see a few more of those sketches, but I digress. In theory, in a few more hours we will know who will be the 45th President of the United States of America. Then the hard work will really begin, as there's the not insignificant matter of restoring a very fractured electorate.

I was proud to be part of that electorate this morning. The right to vote, preserved by the 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, allows us an unrigged voice. This truly is a freedom. It is not compulsory, although the Australian system of compulsory voting may not necessarily be a bad thing. It is a freedom that we can choose to exercise. It is a freedom that we can easily take for granted or not even exercise and therein lies the danger. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said:

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.

I am delighted to report, though, that based on my 40 minute wait to vote this morning that the good people of our little town (population 10,000-ish) here in Connecticutistan chose to exercise their right to vote in force. In an organization decision I am still grappling with (call me simple), we were organized by, wait for it, street name as follows: A-D, E-N, O-Z. Based on the length of the line, most of us live on the O-Z streets. Once I was in the voting cubicle, I was proud to cast my vote, knowing that my voice, albeit just one, would be heard.

President Ronald Reagan once said, "The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties..." and I am glad that my vote today added to the brilliance of that jewel. Every vote cast today, no matter the outcome of the election, helped to that crown jewel shine even brighter today.

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