As I ventured into line this morning at 6:15am, I was overwhelmed with pride. Pride to see so many of my nameless neighbors in line, preparing to cast their ballots in our nation’s election. I was overwhelmed to see the civility and kindness displayed from person to person. Smiles being exchanged and knowing looks sent amongst strangers, “I know how you’re voting; me too.” Mothers and Fathers bringing their children and educating them on the process, showing them sample ballots and explaining how it works. The grandma in front of me who planned to receive assistance from her granddaughter to help her see the electronic machine. The woman yelling into her cell phone, “Bootsie, who cares if the lines are long, get out of your house and get here to vote.” (I’m not making that up, at all….)
This is what is best about America. Yes, it matters to me who you vote for, of course I want my guys to win. But at the end of the day, if you are a citizen over 18, it is most important that you vote. Join your fellow Americans and take part in a privilege that many do not have across the globe.
Perhaps you will not be as enraptured by the process as I have been this fall. Even now, several hours later, I feel a rumble of anticipation at tonight’s announcements of results from across the country. But, I hope that you will spend just a bit of time relishing the freedom you have to choose your leaders and to amend your state’s constitutions.
God Bless you today. God Bless America and all of her people.
Some thoughts from those wiser than me:
The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.–Franklin D. Roosevelt
I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.–H.L. Mencken
The only freedom that is of enduring importance is the freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment, exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while. The commonest mistake made about freedom is, I think, to identify it with freedom of movement, or, with the external or physical side of activity.–John Dewey
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.–John F. Kennedy
The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.–G.K. Chesterton
We preach the virtues of democracy abroad. We must practice its duties here at home. Voting is the first duty of democracy.–Lyndon B. Johnson
V-O-T-E VOTE VOTE VOTE!