Don’t you hate it when someone is bitching and moaning about politics, the President or a policy? And then you find out they didn’t even vote in the election pertaining to what they’re griping about?
Often times people seem to think that their vote doesn’t matter or count. It’s easy to forget there was a time when not everyone in the United States could vote.
My great grandma Lulu, who passed away at 103, was born when women weren’t allowed to vote (and was also alive when two Presidents were assassinated (McKinley and Kennedy), the Wright brothers flew their first plane, when the first Ford Model T car was produced in 1908, and when Amelia Earhart disappeared in the air – just to give you an idea of Lulu’s longevity).
Once women were granted voting rights in 1920, she participated in every single election until her death. Fact is, Grandma Robinson thought it was important to vote every chance she got, which has had a lasting impression on me.
This past week has given me an all access backstage pass to one side of the Presidential campaign.
Regardless of whether it’s the candidate I’m rooting for, it made me feel proud to know that folks still care.
In one city, over 17,000 people showed up to support one man’s 15 minute speech, carrying signs, wearing t-shirts and exuding passionate enthusiasm. Volunteers (who showed up at 6am to prepare for a 6pm rally), grandparents (who didn’t know how to work their cameras in time to get a good picture), twenty-somethings touting handmade posters, parents with kids (wishing they were home) on their shoulders, teenagers in packs of friends, boy scout troops accompanying the American flag, cowboys in belt buckles – people from all walks of life showing up.
People who most likely have nothing in common except for their backing of one Presidential candidate.
While elections have gotten increasingly mean, bitter and much more below-the-belt personal, it’s easy to be turned off to the whole shebang.
Whether or not you choose to vote is your right (and be glad it’s a choice that you get to make). But if you don’t show up at the ballot booth today and cast a vote, don’t come crying when you disagree with policies of the victorious.
Shut up or vote!
And now, I’ll hop off this soap box.