Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I did a very special thing today

I did something today that very few people in the world, and even the history of the world, get to do: I had an equal say in who will run my government.

I voted. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?

As the election official checked my name off the rolls and handed me a ballot, I said, “Isn’t this a privilege?” She and the others at her table all lit up and beamed. “Yes, it is!” she said, “and I’m so thrilled you recognize that! You’re the first young man today to say such a thing.”

So I took my ballot into the booth and happily checked the names of my favorite politician, Joe Biden, and of the first African-American major party nominee, Barack Obama. I also voted for several Republicans in local races (these were informed votes, not desperate attempts to seem bipartisan) and wrote in various professors’ names for some of the unchallenged local races.

For the entire ten-minute walk to the polling place, Hanover High School, I was sang to myself, “I get to vote, I get to vote! I’m going to get to vote, I get to vote!” Not, mind you, I’m going to vote, but I *get* to vote. For all America’s problems and for all its sins, most of us still get to vote, and that is still such a beautiful and amazing thing.

If Obama wins, I’ll make a post about why he’s not a socialist. If McCain wins, I’ll make a post about why I’m not disheartened, and write about some of his good qualities and some of my hopes. No matter who wins, I’ll be making yet another post on the importance of civility and respect for one another. But right now, I’m just going to revel in the beauty of democracy. And tonight, I’m going to try to find the campus election returns watch party with the best combination of friends, Democrats, and celebratory beverages. I'll leave you with an interesting though: the College Dems watch party tonight is at a frat called Kappa Kappa Kappa, or Trikap, a Greek house founded back before the Civil War. Isn't that such a delicious irony? When Obama wins, knock on wood, the celebration of our first black president's election will be held in a frat called KKK.

My ballot, courtesy of my cell phone:


3 comments:

the cajun said...

Yes, you did a very special thing today; a thing that we all ought to take advantage of, at every opportunity. Perhaps this historical election cycle with build awareness of how important the act of voting is for all of us.

Jordan said...

So I see your a partisan only at the Federal level; unless the sheriff doesn't need to state his party and it was for convenience to place candidates on those columns.

Nathan Empsall said...

I'm not partisan, there are a good number of Republican Senators I'd vote for.

The sheriff is actually a Republican who endorsed McCain and Sununu, and had a real Democratic opponent in '06. I voted for him then, though, and even though I wrote in profs for most of the unchallenged races, voted for him again this time - as well GOP for a couple other local races that did have challenges.