Has this election cycle gotten you in a tizzy? I made a point not to comment on all the hubbub. I wasn’t doing too bad until today. Today I must respond…
Dear Complainers, Whiners, and People Being Rude to The VOLUNTEER Poll Workers on this Election Day 2012 because you stood in line for 15 minutes and they took too long to look up your name and you had to get your driver’s license out of your wallet and you couldn’t get your regular seat in Starbucks because of it:
I voted. I was in line behind several of you. I had to make time in my day to do it just like you did.
I took time to study the candidates and the issues. I endured insufferable commercials, a tree’s worth of candidates’ mail flyers and hateful rhetoric at the speed of social media for months.
I stood in line for a few minutes. It took a little effort. I voted.
I prayed for wisdom before I voted. I wasn’t forced to. I chose to. I could choose to gather with others who wanted to pray if I wanted. We would pray and worship, unmolested. We wouldn’t be dragged into the street to be beaten or killed.
My polling place is so close to my house I could walk there in ten minutes. I can also drive if I wanted. My polling place is inside a beautiful, warm senior care facility. It used to be in a large church. In the past my polling place has been in public school buildings and grocery stores. I didn’t have to walk over unpaved roads or through jungles or deserts for days to get to my polling place. I voted.
I wasn’t prevented from voting because of my gender. My great-grandmother couldn’t vote on her 18th birthday or her 21st or her 25th. That was only 92 years ago.
I wasn’t stopped from voting because of my race or what ethnic group I belong to or what part of the country I live in. I didn’t have to worry my neighbors would slaughter me and my family because I was in the minority and the government encouraged them to.
I didn’t have to bribe anyone to get a ballot. I only had to show proof I was me and sign my name on a dotted line. I wasn’t stopped from voting because I lack a certain amount of education. No one asked me if I had a grasp on all the issues or made me take a test. I voted.
I wasn’t stopped by machine guns or machetes or mobs with fists who didn’t agree with my vote. I wasn’t worried my vote put my family in danger, to be carried off in the dead of night.
I could wear whatever I wanted to my polling place. Makeup or no makeup. High heels or jeans. Straight hair or curls. I could show my head and face in the light of day without fear.
I read a book while I waited in line. I could read any book I wanted. I could read and no one would shoot me in the head because I could.
I could share publicly who I was voting for without worrying my house would be burned down or my livelihood taken away.
My children are old enough to vote. They will vote (or not) as they choose. I could have one or ten children, or no children, not as a government tells me I must. And those children may vote.
I voted because I can.
I voted because of Jefferson and Adams and Lincoln and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Frederick Douglass and Theodore Roosevelt and Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul and Rosa Parks and Ellis Island and sod busters and 49’ers and coal miners and assembly line workers and hash slingers and Woody Guthrie and Elvis and Bessie Smith and Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs and Billy Graham.
I voted because of San Francisco and Joplin and the Lower Ninth Ward and Times Square. I voted because of Lexington and Concord, Vicksburg, the Alamo, San Juan Hill, Pearl Harbor, and Normandy. I voted because of the Beirut Barracks, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the U.S.S. Cole, the Twin Towers, and Benghazi.
I voted for my 15-month old grandson, in the hope that government of the people, for the people, and by the people will not perish from the earth and he will be able to have this privilege. I voted.
I’m sorry you felt so put-upon and inconvenienced today.
Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
Signed, A Grateful American
My only political rant this year. Thank you for your patience.