Have you heard? It’s election time in America. A year of campaigning, grandstanding, hand-shaking, politicking, debating, mud-slinging and flag-pin wearing. A year filled with super-PACs, soapboxes, and the good ol’ red, white and blue.
Yes, once again we are voting for who will be our next president. It’s the right of all citizens to fill out a ballot and cast a vote. A right that is supposed to level the playing field, no matter what our path was to citizenship.
Of course, when it comes right down to it, not everyone votes. And that’s their right, I suppose. Which is ironic, when you consider that there are countries where voting is not allowed, and where I’m pretty sure, many folks would give their eyeteeth for the right and privilege to cast a ballot.
As we have.
Perhaps some of us just don’t feel a strong desire to have a hand in picking the next president. Or senator, governor, or even, mayor. Maybe, we figure, others will do it for us, so that we can go about the business of living our lives and shopping at the mall.
Well, that’s never been the case in my family. From the time I first became aware that I was born in a country that has a president, I learned about our inalienable right to vote.
Back then, my mother wasn’t a citizen yet, but my father had already become one. As a Latino, he was proud of his U.S. citizenship. For him, this was the land of opportunity, a place that gave him the chance to earn a college degree, and build a better life for his children. He always made sure he voted and, by his actions, he instilled in us the desire to be actively involved in the voting process.
I remember the political discussions my parents would have. They’d read the newspaper, and watch the news with Walter Cronkite, and then add their own two cents to the day’s issues. Sometimes, my father would yell at the TV, but I think that was mostly during the Watergate hearings.
When my mother became a citizen, she couldn’t wait for her chance to vote, too. The night before Election Day, she’d review the ballot measures, look at the pros and cons of each candidate, and create her “voting list” to take into the voting booth.
When I turned 16, I volunteered for my first presidential campaign. My friends and I were bussed from Long Island, across the state line to New Jersey, and deposited in a neighborhood, where we spent the day going door to door, asking people to get out and vote. Some listened politely; others didn’t give us the time of day.
And that was their right.
For my generation, 18 was a magical year. The year we became adults and were legally allowed to drink. But, when I turned 18, I remember just being excited about finally getting my chance to vote. And, I have voted in every election since. Nowadays, I don’t even go to the polls. I just mail in my ballot. But, I do miss getting the flag sticker that is given out at polling places, the one you can put on your lapel to show that you voted.
In most states, the deadline to register to vote is sometime in October. You can check here to find out the deadline for your state. If you haven’t yet done so, I hope you’ll take the time to register. After all, your vote counts as much as mine does. No matter where we come from, no matter what our race, religion or sex, our votes do matter.
Starting in October, I’m launching a blogging project to coincide with a new PBS documentary by the same name: Race 2012. It’s about race and the election and what it means for each of us. If you’re interested and would like to participate, sharing your personal story, photos, art, or editorial cartoons, then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you information. To those of you who have already signed on, thank you!
Yep, it’s about time for Race 2012, and together we can make a difference. Please feel free to tweet this and share with other bloggers. Then, I hope you’ll share below, your feelings and memories of voting.
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In ’72, I was not yet old enough to vote, and had no idea of polls or predicted results, but I remember the depressed, sick feeling in my stomach when Nixon won – I *knew* there was evil lurking there, and the whole Watergate thing blew up a few months later.
A couple of times, I admit, I’ve had the flu or such and missed a school board or Proposition election (we have a ton of ’em in California), but have never missed a primary or general election. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought too hard to get me suffrage to take it for granted, and somehow I don’t trust the Todd Akins of the country to represent my best interests.
In 1972 I couldn’t vote yet either. But that’s the year I volunteered for a campaign. Needless to say, he lost.
For me the election has to do with the economy. Can our current president bring us out of this mess of debt or can someone new solve this problem. I am a foreigner in the Northwest and was also one in California where we just moved from. Apparently I have an accent. Growing up on Long Island i never realized I HAVE an accent until I moved west. It’s something people point out to me everyday. I think it has to be much the same with race. You are born with a certain color and you don’t think about it until someone points it out to you. You can be at a certain place and having a conversation and all of a sudden someone needs to stop you and ask you “where are you from?” It may seem benign and somewhat cute but most of the time lately I feel like it is annoying and somewhat condescending. Anytime someone looks different or speaks different people have a tendency to look at them with a curiosity. I’m not running for office but if I was I’m sure my ENTIRE life not just my NY accent, would be in the spotlight because of 24 hour opinion news programming.
It just seems that in the last election as in this one, ANY questions were looked at as if the person asking, must be a racist. Our President looks different, he is black and therefore different than anyone else that had held that office before. We have a white man that is Mormon running against him. His religion is being held against him, much like a previous president, who was Catholic. It’s what they can and will do in the office that will shape our lives.
Will people vote for him because of the color of his skin, of course. Will they vote against him because of the color of his skin, of course. For some voting for a black man affirms that they are not racist but for me the affirmation is in how do you treat people in your everyday life. Here in the state of Washington there are a lot of Obama support stickers on cars but when you get up close and personal there is a real distrust for anyone who is an “outsider”.
When I moved out West (from New York) for the first time, I had the same thing happen to me. People kept asking me where I was from and would nod, like they knew, when I’d say New York. Well it still happens, but I’m proud of my accent and my New York roots. It’s what makes me, me. I used to live in Seattle, btw, but my experience was very different. That was years ago, of course.
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Wonderful post! Totsymae sent me over here and I am so glad she did. I suspect she did so because I post regularly about the Silly Season, politics and my utter and complete dismay at our nations run to extremes, which saddens me terribly.
I, like you have been active and an activist most of my life. My husband got his citizenship late last year so he could vote in the elections this year. He voted in our primaries this year and it was exciting for him. I think it will be even more exciting when he votes in the elections.
Thanks for stopping by! You sound like the perfect candidate for joining our blogging team. If interested, please email me at http://www.monicastangledweb.com and I’ll send you info. Would love to have you on board!
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love this post! I thought for sure I was going to be reading someones radical opinion on the election and to be honest, I am tired of seeing all the memes, comments and commentary on this election. gone are the days when election coverage was only on TV or in the paper and you could just chose to watch or read something different. now it is everywhere. On the flip side, I dont know one person that is not educated that this is an election year, who is running or what is going on. lol! thanks for this post! will definitely follow 🙂
Thank you for stopping by! Glad you liked my post, which genuinely came from the heart. If you ask me, what’s going on in our national political landscape adds up to the best reality show around. And, I don’t normally like reality shows, so coming from me, that says a lot! 😉
Hi Monica, when I was little my mom used to bring me into the voting booth with her. It was so exciting and I coudn’t wait until I was 18 so I could vote too! I can so relate to your story, and it’s sad that more people don’t take the time to vote!
Lisa, what a wonderful thing your mother did for you. And what a great bonding opportunity for you both. As a blogger, you can make a difference by sharing your memories of voting and encouraging others to do the same.
Great post Monica. I thought this quote was the most important: “The night before Election Day, she’d review the ballot measures, look at the pros and cons of each candidate, and create her “voting list” to take into the voting booth.”
It’s excellent, and important, to encourage voting. But what’s more important is to encourage *informed* voting. Too many people, in your country and mine, vote blindly along party lines, based on media manipulations, tradition, misinformation and caricatured arguments. Your mother’s careful consideration of each candidates’ actual strengths is a brilliant example of how to vote.
Thank you so much, Jaime. I learned a lot from my mother, but this is among the most important things she passed on to me. We need to teach our children the value of voting and taking seriously, that vote. Which means, of course, reading up on the pros and cons.
Well said, Monica. I don’t have anything original to add after the others. It’s is a privilege to vote, which many forget and take for granted. Regardless of a person’s opinion–left, right, extreme, or in between–each of us should exercise the right to vote.
Here, here, Brenda. I totally agree! Happy Election Season!
It’s really sad that a lot of people don’t realize what a privilege it is to have a vote. When I listen to people who are ho-hum about it, I start to think about places like Syria…
I’ve been watching the convention. Still undecided. But I’m definitely voting and will have done my homework by the time I get to the poll.
Great post and resources, Monica!
Thanks, Eloise. Good luck in figuring out how you plan to vote. I know how hard it can be!
Great post Monica! Imagine how this country could change if every eligible voter bothered to vote in every election.
So true, Nancy. So true!
Great post 🙂 I was surprised to see that the voter turnout in 2008 elections was only around 58%…that too in an election season that had churned up so much excitement. The levels are disturbing for a nation as developed as the U.S and that too with such a widely distributed media.
and congrats on being freshly pressed, I am glad I came across your blog 🙂
Perhaps if people could vote, much in the same way they do for the next “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” then maybe more people would vote. After all, it beats having to actually head to the nearest voting location or having to find a stamp to mail in your ballot. Too much work for some folks.
or use facebook accounts to vote 🙂
Reblogged this on misentopop.
Thanks for re-posting!
I’ve come to the conclusion, that in many (western) countries elections, neither major party actually wins.
It’s just that one party doesn’t lose as much as the other one.
Hey Monica, I do like the cartoon style art work across the bottom of your blog here. It’s awesome !!
I’m a freelance cartoonist http://www.cartoonmick.wordpress.come and would love to create art like that. Jealous !!!
Thanks, Cartoon Mick! I think you’re right about neither party winning. Re the artwork at the bottom of this blog. I like it very much, too. It’s one of the features that drew me to this blog template. Wish I could take credit for it, but alas you’ll need to save your kudos for the creative minds at WordPress. It’s quite special!
You have very deftly brought out the thrill of casting a vote. I could actually relate myself to most of the points on this post. I was too excited at when I turned 18. Reason – I have the right to vote! Politics was such a frequent topic of discussion at my home. Every one of the USCitizen should consider voting as a top priority duty. Loved the post!
Oh, Hazel, I’m so glad you think so. I really tried, inspired by my own memories of my parents and their voting habits. I want to get away from all the hostility going on in politics now. It’s taken the joy out of following political news. I want to remember what it’s all about and our civic duty, which is a small price to pay for living in a free country.
Very nice – you avoid all the nastiness in politics! Some feat. I just hope that new voter ID laws in many states won’t disenfranchise a lot of people…
Thank you. I take that as a compliment. These days, there’s way too much anger and frustration in our politics. If we can remember what the process is all about–this is a democracy after all–if we can remember we’re all in this together, then maybe we can begin to work together, make consessions, all for the greater good. Maybe I’m a dreamer, a Pollyanna, but I refuse to believe it can’t happen.
I’m an expat American, living in Tasmania. Here in Australia voting is compulsory. Imagine that! As I’m still a US citizen, not an Australian citizen, I can vote in the US election but not in the Australian on. It was a thrill for me to vote in the 2008 election–first time I voted in many years. I shall post my ballot again this time. Thanks for encouraging others to vote. It’s so important.
I didn’t know about the laws of voting in Austrailia until I wrote this post. If you look up above in the comments, Meditating Mummy wrote about it, too. I wonder how compulsory voting would go over here? And, tell me, how would Austrailians handle this new voter ID rules we’re seeing pop up in some areas? I’m glad you’re planning to vote again. 🙂
I don’t think Australians would tolerate the voter ID rules at all. They are appalling. I doubt compulsory voting would fly there (US) either, but that’s okay–am not sure it is a good thing. We get a lot of “donkey votes” or protest votes from people who vote to avoid paying the fine, but not a legitimate vote.
Thanks for clarifying. I was wondering how Australians felt about compulsory voting but I think you’ve answered that. Makes sense to me.
Great article, Monica. And a very important message indeed. When my son voted for the first time, I took pictures. It’s a significant time and certainly a turning point in when we should become a little more informed about what happening in the world and educating ourselves about the people we choose to represent us.
That’s what it’s all about, Totsy. Educating ourselves as to the world around us. I love that you took pictures of your son, when he first voted. You’re such a sweet mama!
I don’t see much reason in voting. I did vote though when I lived in America, but I always felt it was simply a most wonderful lie, designed to have me believe that my vote counted, that the government that I lived under was for the people, by the people, but it clearly is not. America is such a segregated nation, full of people who refuse to listen to each other, who are impatient, immensely selfish, prize objects more valuable than lives, are grossly racist, and while the want to believe that they are part of governing themselves, they clearly don’t realize that for real, substantial change to happen, voting is the least they can do. They cast their ballot and then stop. They let the president and their other elected officials take care of everything and then complain when things do not go how they expect. President Obama said in his inaugural speech,
‘For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies…What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world’
This is something that was clearly forgotten by all, if not most, of Americans during his term. It is saddening. I wonder if I will receive an absentee ballot?
Please don’t give up on our voting system, Jeff. For, giving up is akin to letting the terrorists win. Well, almost, but not quite. I know these are frustrating times (to say the least), but we must believe that we can make a difference. We must believe that our votes matter. I beg of you, don’t give in to the naysayers, to a bleak future. We humans are hopeful at heart, always wanting to look forward to a better future. Look what a small group of people working together have been able to achieve, whether we like it or not: The Tea Party, The Occupiers. Our voices can be heard when we work together and don’t give up.
Thank you for including the quote from President Obama. I too, had forgotten it. It’s a great quote and I think I’ll add it my quote collection. I appreciate you visiting my blog today.
You are also forgetting that America is the terrorist. Do you think that killing innocent people in another country protects American citizens from terrorism? How is war ever justified? War is terrorism. Violence never solves anything. It only creates more violence.
My comments are not of giving up. I just seek a different way. You responded to someone’s comment about the swing states saying, ‘never give up on the system.’ why continue to support a system that is obviously not working, That is obviously corrupt? We need to reevaluate our political system, rewrite it, destroy the constitution of America, as it was written by a select few rich individuals with their interests in mind, not those of the entire nation, My vote only counts because I believe in a lie.
And no, the system of casting a vote is not bigger than any of us. It is below us. It was created by us, yet it is meaningless now.
I don’t live in America anymore.
Voting, a privilege many do not take seriously unfortunately. Great post.
Well, we’ll keep trying, won’t we? To plead to their better sense and sensibility? Thanks for reading!
Fascinating post,l hope every American will vote for the better future.Cheers. Jalal
Yes, that’s all I wish for, too. Thank you for reading my post today. I so appreciate it.
Very Nice post monica
Thank you! And I appreciate you stopping by!
What is disheartening, and what I wrote a blog about on “MisfitWisdom,” is that we keep hearing that only “7” states with a combined total of 85 electoral votes will ultimatey decide the election this year. Yes, everyone should vote, but that said, if only 7 states decide, what’s the point? Unless, of course, you happen to live in one of those 7 states.
I think you’re referring to the “swing states.” and while it’s true that these are ultimately important states, I’m not going to let that stop me from voting. I’m not going to cave be ause of that. I’m going to stay positive and believe in the process. It’s bigger than all of us. It’s bigger than what’s going on right now on the political stage. Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus and, yes our vote counts! Never give up on the system, when that is all we have to hold on to. Consider the alternative!
thank you for continually bringing AWARENESS to your reader about IMPORTANT issues.
Especially about *VOTING*. I love how PRO-Active you are….& I love your new Project!
Fabulous stuff Xxx
Thanks so much, Kim! I feel your love and support with every post I write and I so appreciate you always being there for me. You have so much to offer and I thank you for it, my friend.
I don’t feel there’s much difference between the two major candidates. I voted one way last election, but I feel betrayed. No way am I voting for the other guy, though, because he’s crap too.
So what do I do? Vote independent or third party. I absolutely have to exercise my rights, even if it’s in the form of a protest vote that won’t even make the hint of a dent in the corrupt, rotten system. If more people felt this way, we might even be able to change it. Thanks for posting this.
I understand your frustration. It’s something many of us have felt at one point or another. I don’t particularly like what is happening in our electoral process, but I’m hoping we can remember what is at the heart of it: the right we have to vote or not vote. It’s what makes us a free society. And, short of saying, “Can’t we all get along,” I’m just saying exercise your right, and that right includes contacting your local congressperson to let them know how you’re feeling. Let’s hope it all turns out for the best.
What a delightful blog! I hope everyone reads this and votes! Thanks for sharing. http://www.segmation.wordpress.com
I enjoyed your post, voting and the responsibility it entails are important.
Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed”! It’s exciting to see a blog I know on there.
Thanks Sweet Clowie! It was exciting to me, too, when they notified me a couple of days ago with the good news. My head was throbbing with excitement. 😉
Count me in! I’ll send something as soon as October rolls around. Anyway, I think it’s a great honor to vote, and I find it baffling that people like my younger sister don’t want to participate in the process. Don’t they care that voting is more than electing people, it’s determining which politicians can affect our lives for better or for worse?
No need to send anything, except your contact info. To participate, all you need do is write at least one post, between Oct 1 and Nov 13. Let me know when it posts and we’ll help you promote it on Twitter and FB, and add your link to the Race 2012 site. So email me your info. Thanks!
happy to participate.
You know, after some recent hectic traveling and work commitments, I’m still catching up on posts from my favorite bloggers — yours included, of course — and then this comes up as FP’ed. You REALLY have the magic touch, my friend!
But I’m glad the FP gods spoke, because I needed to read this today. I’m having the hardest time trying to make this election process seem even remotely civil and civic-minded for my kids…there’s so much vitriol and negativity and snark and sadness. Is this the direction of all future elections — and we’re just on the ground floor, watching the future unfold? Ugh…
I love your optimism and initiative. It’s infectious. Monica for President! 🙂
Mikalee, I know what you’re saying and I do feel the pain of our election process these days. But, I’m trying to stay positive about it all and ultimately, it’s up to us. We do matter. Too many of us remain complacent, and I was just trying to make a case for voting despite all the minutiae. So, did I miss you when you visited San Diego? I’ll be so disappointed if that’s the case, and I’ll be counting on you to return someday soon! Deal?
Hooray, glad to see this come up on FP today! Congrats, my friend! You and this project deserve it!
Thank you so much, Kathy. I so appreciate the support of friends like you, and I love how quickly and readily you agreed to participate in this project. Keeping my fingers crossed that more folks sign on!
You are so very right. Some people in North America (I am Canadian) are apathetic about voting. I know that in the past, I have felt that none of the candidates deserve to run a country and I don’t want to just vote for the lesser evil, so I don’t vote. However, I have made the effort recently to exercise my right to vote, precisely because in some countries, people would kill for the opportunity to do so—I have the opportunity, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
On a side note, I have been following the US race closely, and I definitely know who I would pick there–too bad, I’m not allowed to vote down south 😉
That’s exactly what I was trying to say. Basically, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and if we ever lost our right to vote, and if our leader was appointed, the memories of voting would be bittersweet and I bet then, those who don’t flex their voting muscle would wish they had. Sigh.
Well Monica, I’ve been glued to CNN these days, not just because the politicizing is about to begin, but I can’t seem to stop myself from wanting to know what the polls are showing in terms of numbers.
When I lived in Australia, it was mandatory to vote. In fact when I first arrived in the US. I would have to traipse all the way – take a one hour ferry ride to the Australian embassy to vote. We had council elections quite regularly too. Can you imagine how many trips that took me. They fine you a hefty amount if you don’t. I took it very seriously, as I do now.
I am so glad to be a part of race 2012. To be able to talk about what it means to me, my family, and my in laws who migrated many many years ago, is fantastic. The 2008 elections in particular changed a perception, a way of thinking and showed how progressive we are. I think that’s changing a bit, now. It will certainly be a different these elections and I am keen to see the outcome.
Thanks, MM, I had no idea about the rules of voting in Australia. You went through a lot of hoops to vote. Kudos to you for seeing it through! I’m really glad you’re going to be blogging with us. I can tell you’re going to have fascinating stories to tell. 🙂
Very nice post Monica!
Thank you, Misty!
I was fortunate to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain for a Semester in 1988. One of the girls I befriended in the program was from Washington D.C. If you called President Reagan’s office her mother would be the one to answer. She had worked for him for years. Needless to say it was imperative she find a way to cast her ballot and I was excited to go along with her for the ride, and the chance to cast mine too.
We jumped on an evening train to Madrid and stayed with a student friend of hers. We went to the embassy the next morning to cast our vote. That night we attended a fancy election party. I remember being very under-dressed in our college/traveler attire but at the same time welcomed by all as we were by far the youngest attendees and the effort we made gave us a bit of credibility.
That is so cool! Rubbing elbows with the rich, eh? I would have loved to be at a fancy party at the embassy any day. Good for you, Trish!
I believe that if you don’t vote, then you can’t bitch about things. Since I love to bitch about things, I always make it a point to vote. 😉 I remember being 10 years old and riding my bike around the neighborhood handing out info on JFK. My first vote for President was cast for McGovern. The only Republican I ever voted for was Gerald Ford, but that was mostly because I loved Betty. Although, I continued to like and respect both the Fords until their deaths. I cannot imagine President Ford being a member of what passes for the Republican party today.
Jayne, I love your memories and the reasons you cited for supporting Ford. Betty was a wonderful woman and achieved greatness in her own right. And I thought I started young, but you got me beat! 😉
I love it!
I’m so stoked about being part of this Race 2012 project, Monica! I have voted in every election since I became a citizen twelve years ago! I was too happy about becoming a citizen, and fully taking part in all the rights and responsibilities that came along with it! I wear this privilege like a badge! Folks were looking at me like “what’s the big deal?” Are you kidding me?! 🙂
Looking forward to the project and all the great writing and perspectives that we’ll glean from it.
I’m so glad you’re taking part, too! Can’t wait to read your stories about Race 2012. I sometimes think that people who have to “earn” their citizenship appreciate the privileges all the more.Through your excitement about voting, you’re setting a good example for us all. Thanks!
Monica, methinks with your enthusiasm, commitment to duty, organizational skills, and perseverance, you’d make a wonderful presidential candidate! I would vote for you! I would! It’s about time we had a woman in the Oval office and who better than someone who has the ability to rally the masses and give us a chuckle along the way! I vote Monica! 🙂 By the way, I still have the flag sticker from the last election!
That’s President Monica to you! lol. Thank you for “electing” me for the job. Though, frankly, don’t think I’d want it. Now with all those media and opposing politicos scrutinizing me, looking for dirt to expose. After all, with Henry around as the First Dog, in no time at all he’d be writing his own tell all–his way of seeking revenge against me for not taking him back to his “homeland.” 😉
I received an email from Henry’s Cook this morning asking why I had not posted, so not being one who wants to get on the wrong side of cook here I am!!!!
Here in The UK we don’t of course elect a president, we don’t even elect the Prime Minister!
In a General Election we vote for a local candidate whoever takes our fancy, and with some exceptions anybody can stand for parliament. I won’t go through those who can’t stand as you will all start to doze off. You pay what’s known as a deposit and if you don’t get enough of the votes you loose your deposit. All very quaint and not too expensive.
On polling day we can go to our local polling station to cast our vote, we can have a proxy vote or we can vote by post, all terribly British and all that!!
Then after the polling stations have closed generally at 10pm people often gather in front of the TV with something to drink and a bag of crisps (Potato chips for the Americans here) and watch the results come in.
Then the party with the most seats, assuming they have a majority are asked to form the next government. If there is no overall majority as there wasn’t last time then they argue amongst themselves and a couple of parties will form a coalition which will give them a majority in the house of commons and they will then form a government. The leader of the party who wins, or the leader of the biggest party in the coalition becomes Prime Minister!!
That’s it no big multi million pound rallies round the country and who can raise the most money. The big political parties have a couple of conferences a year and that’s it.
It’s all terribly British.
So many over here view the American system with wonder and sometimes amazement, and it seems to many to be not who has the best policies but who raises the most money that wins.
Now I always vote both in general and local elections, after all in the deep distant past people fought to make sure I could vote so who am I to let them down.
But I also believe that one important part of democracy is that you should not only have the right to vote but also the right not to vote if you honestly don’t like any of the candidates.
It’s fair to say I am not a political animal and often I think that all the politicians are as bad as each other.
So I will sit back and watch you Americans hammer away to elect somebody that most will end up criticising before they have been in Office a year and see what dirt can be dug up by people about those standing.
Now where are my crisps and my drink.
Let battle commence.
Wow, Robert. Thanks for the civics lesson. Actually fascinating the way you Brits handle your election. I crave a bit of civility in ours, as you seem to have in yours. Btw, your wit and quiet wryness comes through, making your post, er, comment, quite enjoyable. Enjoy your “crisps” while watching our politicians duke it out. The battle has commenced!
Actually sometimes here it can get rough and the politicians shout at each other and call each other names!!!!
You may have guessed that most things I don’t take at all seriously, life is too short for that.
Most politicians here take themselves far too seriously, and they think they are important, that’s far from the truth. In a democracy what can be voted in can be voted out. Many politicans would do well to remember that I feel.
I once saw a saying that goes like this. Every so often politicans and nappies (Diapers) need changing because they both become full of the same thing!! That I think is so true!!!
I’ve voted in every election since I qualified. I vote in the primaries and the local elections. I once worked the polls. That is something everyone should do at least once. It’s amazing to see how many people are confused about political parties, which precinct they belong to – heck – even their correct address.
I definitely think far too many people take this for granted. I love your story. You seem to know what is truly important.
Good for you, Renee! And kudos, too, for working at a polling place. Talk about doing your civic duty! Alas, I’m afraid I agree. If our right to vote was suddenly taken away, then all those folks who don’t do it, will surely wish they had. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Isn’t that what they say?
Thanks for this personal story about your parents and your early political memories. I remember my first presidential election. I was in college in NJ and had forgotten to file my absentee ballot papers so, although I had an exam the next day, I got on a bus home to NY, surprised my parents with a fifteen minute visit and raced off to cast my ballot (for Michael Dukakis!) This is so important. I worry about those whose voting rights may be obstructed this year. Very excited about Race 2012! It is such an impressive project.
Lisa, You’ve got a great story, too. One that really shows your commitment to the democratic process. And what a nice surprise for your parents that day. The whole voter obstruction is a bit disconcerting, I agree, but I’m so glad you’re participating and plan to share your perspective on things. Thanks so much!
I’m a firm believer in voting, too, Monica. When I was working as a journalist and expected to take an objective stance on most matters, I relished the privacy of voting and expressing my true beliefs. Then, too, my dad was a veteran and out of respect for him and the others who fought for our freedoms, I wouldn’t feel right in passing up an opportunity to vote. If you don’t vote, you don’t get the right to complain, ha!
So, true, Debbie. I really like your reasons for voting. They’re so spot on!
How interesting to hear a bit about your family’s citizenship-voting history–and to learn that you began voluteering at 16. Good for you!
I’m looking forward to doing my post. Hope lots of other folks join the party!
Well, Kathy, I was a few months shy of my 17th birthday. But it was summer, and school was out, so it seemed a good time to do our part on behalf of democracy. I’m so glad you’re on board!
I love being able to vote by mail but I miss that flag sticker, too. Lola is a little miffed that she can’t vote, but she agrees with my choices, so she’s decided to live with it.
Thank goodness, our dogs see eye to eye with us. Where would we be without them? Do you take Lola with you when you head to the mailbox to mail in your ballot? I’m sure she’d appreciate that. 😉
Great job with the reminder for everyone to vote Monica.
Thanks, Susan. After all, this is what democracy is all about: having a chance to have our say. 😉
Google carl dagostino how I got Barry Goldwater’s autograph. I am not trying to promote myself on your blog so delete this comment. I just thought you would enjoy the story and wanted to let you know. When I was 15 I worked for Barry Goldwater at least 25 hours a week for 10 months in 1964. Flipped to McGovern in ’72.
Great piece, Carl. Really enjoyed it. 1972 was the first campaign I worked on. Ah, memories!