Just another Election Tuesday

Every few years we get to enact one of our rights – the right to vote, to choose the people and issues that mean something to us.

We all tromp down to the polls, enter into the hallowed halls of a random public school or some other public use building, and cast our votes.

There are a lot of issues being decided today. And a lot of candidates are hoping to celebrate tonight. But why would a candidate celebrate? Yes, they’ve won – but now they’re responsible for years of hard work – harder work than most of us can even imagine. We, the people (or, at least, the 20% of voters that make a majority in our apathetic democracy) have chosen them to lead us, to be our voice, to right the wrongs and hold up the promises that they’ve made over the last few months.

We voted on things that shouldn’t be controlled by the government. A woman’s right to her body and protection against rape and incest. A couples right to marry. These aren’t governmental issues. These are moral issues; the kind that should be figured out as an individual, not by the government populace.

I’ll say it now. If you voted for an abortion ban or for a ban on gay marriage, I’m disappointed. You’re voting your personal morals. You’re forcing everyone else to live by the rules you set up. What’s next – abolition? State sponsored racism?

Of course, if you are against either of these bans, but you didn’t bother to vote, then I’m even more disappointed. Because you could make a difference. But you choose not to.

I’ve voted for a long line of losers. I haven’t voted for a winning President since 1996. I am partially responsible for putting Bush in office (yes, I voted for Nader in 2000). Most of the issues I vote on go the opposite way, as do the candidates. There’s not a lot of room in South Dakota for true liberal values – the rights of the people, the drive to do good, and an embrace of individuality. Instead, we still rally around moral issues like abortion and gay marriage, while we continue to allow our schools to flounder and our population to become poorer.

I may vote for losers. But at least I’ve voted.

Now can we get all of the damned political advertising off the air? Out of the paper? Off the lawns?

This was lovingly handwritten on November 7th, 2006