Red, white and pretty cool

I’ll say it upfront. You’re going to have to bear with me today. I just voted.

I get this way every four years with a milder case every two. I look around at the patchwork mix of people around me as we wait in line to vote… young, old, young families with proud children in tow, skin of every shade. And I think what we’re doing is pretty cool.

I know our country has serious issues and challenges. I know keeping the election  process fair and just in an every changing world of technology and finance is a task that requires both wisdom and vigilance. Like any good relationship, our voting process requires ongoing evaluation, attention and care. I know our country has serious issues and challenges, not the least of which is a paralyzing partisanship.

But you know what guys? I just voted.

I didn’t have to walk seventy-five miles to cast my ballot. If I hadn’t already been out in the car, I could have walked… roughly  a mile. No one was shooting at me. No one is going to come and carry me off in the night because I voted.

Guys, I just voted. For the president of the United States. And my state Agriculture Commissioner. And my local judges. And a host of others. I voted.

I’m a student of American history, particularly Revolutionary War history. Reading books like 1776 and the fine John Adams biography (as well as watching the DVD series) reminds me that as this country was founded, they were pretty much making it up as they went along. No one had ever trusted the people enough to put the fate of a nation in their hands. Sometimes we have responded with brilliance and wisdom and sometimes we’ve dropped the ball. But we have the power to vote.

And yes, I know in those early days “the people” meant white guys. But even those white guys put into into place the mechanism for change so that when we knew better, we could do better.

Guys, I just voted.

And in my book, that’s pretty cool.


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