Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote!

I voted yesterday. Since I will be out of my home state painting at the new house next week, I was grateful for the ease with which one can do that these days.

But the last couple days I have been thinking too much about this election season and though I try to keep this little blog fun and light and about nature and related things, I just want to get a couple things said.

First, it seems kinda odd to me that in a country where religious tolerance and religious freedom are not only founding principles of our country but the reason people continue to take refuge here today, one side has used accusations about religion as an attempt to insult and discredit. Religion has come up on both sides. On one side, a specific candidate has been held accountable for specific extreme ideas that she holds due to her religion that are in direct conflict with an overwhelming majority of science. It has been suggested that she is not a viable candidate because she believes in those unscientific things and would make policy based on those unscientific beliefs. That seems a fair thing to hold a candidate accountable for. On the other side, a candidate has simultaneously been lambasted for radical things the pastor of his church says, as though any of us really challenges our pastors or is responsible for things they say, and also been accused of being of another religion entirely. Well, I would like to point out that if you are going to claim one thing, you should shut up about the other.
And then I would point out that due to the fact that this country was founded by people seeking relief from religious prosecution, you should stop making it sound like being from that religion is a bad thing. Most of you who are trying to insult that candidate by claiming he is an adherent of that religion are using it as an insult, and it should not be used that way. Making such implications feeds religious intolerance and feeds discrimination and we are a better country than that.

Second, it seems kind of odd to me that when there was a certain party in control for, oh, 12 years, give or take, and then they lost their absolute power just a few months ago when the majority shifted in congress, that certain party would choose to blame all that they claim is wrong with the country on those in power before 12 years ago or those in power after the recent shift in power. To do so would seem to be admitting that nothing happened in the last 12 years. It would seem to be admitting that they, while in power, were ineffective in fixing anything and that they left things so unstable that it could all be wrecked in a few months. Why would that make us want to put them back in power for the next four years? As a parent, it seems like shirking responsibility is a bad thing.

Third, one campaign has been about negativity and fear and tearing down others, directly and by slimy implication and insinuation and plays on words with exaggerations and twists and misrepresentations and misinterpretations. Those things count as lies in my rule book. The other campaign has been about what is good and what we need more of and it has been about ideas and proposals and problem solving and hope and promise and making a better future for an already great country. It was never a hard choice for me. I voted for positive instead of negative.

Whatever side you are on, if you have not voted yet, please do so. Too many people gave time and lives to keep our freedoms intact and to ensure that everyone, property owners or not, male and female, young or old, black or white or any color in between, has that right to vote. The leaders of this country should represent the hopes and dreams and ideals of the people, and voting is one way you can make sure that happens. No excuses! Leave early before work, skip a meeting, take a lunch break early or late, leave work early, watch someones kids while they watch yours. Take a bus, beg a ride, walk. Be counted. Make a difference. Vote, no matter how inconvenient, because it how you, on this historic day next Tuesday, get to be part of the process that makes our country great. Vote!

3 comments:

Chuck Comstock said...

While I don't understand the desire to actually vote on "election day", albeit a potentially historic election day, I also didn't fully comprehend how easy it is to use the "absentee" ballot process. We received a mailing from the DNC urging us to vote early and consider using the absentee ballot. It was incredibly easy - one phone call and a few days later the ballot showed up in the mail. At our leisure and with the local paper's (an NYT affiliate, thank you very much) election guide we filled out our ballots, smacked a buck's worth of postage on them and we were done. After all there is nothing that says you have to be absent to use an "absentee" ballot. I expect the use of absentee ballots will only increase, along with the "early voting" that is gaining popularity. They expect fully half of the voting in Florida to be done before "election day". In case you're wondering, when I called the election office to get our absentee ballots I asked if the RNC had also sent out a mailing suggesting early voting and the lady, who was very courteous and efficient, said, "Oh, yes, indeed".

I voted. Have you?

Anonymous said...

My absentee ballot is in! :)
mary

goprairie said...

Good for you! I hope lots of kids there are voting! For some reason, young people are smart enough to get the difference and confident enough to read and compare the options and choose for themselves and optimistic enough to know what direction this country needs to go. I just worry that the brightest and best won't find it convenenient to vote! Like the wheat boy who didn't check on his ballot soon enough to get it there!