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Election Day!

Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin

Some words and phrases just give me a warm feeling – family, freedom, grand kids, liberty, These United States, and Election Day. It’s always a great day. It has to be. Too many have died so we can have it for it not to be revered.

Tuesday morning I will feel the electricity in the air as soon as I awake. I’ll have news television on early, though knowing full well it is all supposition. That’s OK, I have horses in the race and I want supposition. All day long I’ll stay in touch one way or another.

It is better I think during the non-Presidential election years. This is how our republic works – pick your guy or gal and they carry the mail for you all term. It’s cool actually, like the old television commercial about having “people.” When my candidate wins I do have people, them, to do my bidding for me. I like it.

Also during non-Presidential elections there is no silliness about the so-called “popular vote.” For Presidential selection it is irrelevant since we choose our people, electors, to choose the president. But the media seem focused on it, sort of like time of possession in football or first downs, interesting, but not the score that matters. Don’t they know?

But this Tuesday there is a popular vote and it does count. We’ll pick our reps and many state and local leaders. Sometime midday I’ll go to my polling place and cast my votes. I know my selections and this year there will be no game day decisions.

I’ve had some great times at polling places. Over the years there have been Election Days when I stood in line for hours, talking with others, there to have their say. It is the best of America. We never talked about our candidates, even knowing that someone standing close would cancel our vote. Good for them, that is how it works. No, we talked about the weather, families, football, or work. Anything but the candidates – that was for inside, and for action in the booth, not talking.

I have voted absentee and it was fun, sitting at the kitchen table with my wife discussing our choices. She usually gets a couple of them wrong, but that is OK, too. Yet, give me the polls every time. I hope we never go totally online with voting. It will take the “community” out of our democratic processes and we will be less for it.

And I am not among those who think everyone should vote. Vote if you want, vote if you know what you want. But I do think everyone should have to go to the polls. Stand in line every two years to honor those who made and make it possible.

My experience has been that it is always cordial and conversational. People are there for a common reason, a noble reason, to feed and perpetuate our Republic. None of them can be “wrong.” We stand in line to have our say, with a vote. No coups or overthrows, no tanks in the streets, no former leaders escaping to exile. That’s enough for the words “Election Day” to give you a warm feeling too.

About Michael Tomlin

2 comments

  1. I don’t think everyone should vote either however I do think that everyone who wants to vote should be allowed to – regardless of the type of election it is. I think it’s downright unconstitutional and maybe even criminal when officials stand in the way of the common voter to be heard at the polls. Using intimidation tactics and looking for technicalities in order to stop or delay an election should come with some pretty steep penalties under the law. Oh, wait. They do. Good thing too.

  2. Clap, clap, Michael, if only our national media focused a little more on what we have in common (weather, families, football, work, etc.) rather than focusing on the more polarizing figures in our politics and blowing life into them because they pump up ratings.

    Policy differences are one thing, but the tendency I see in our country now of totally demonizing one’s opponents and claiming that their policies will “destroy” America (see Glenn Beck) bums me out. We are better than this. I know that many times in our history we haven’t been, but we can be.

    We seem to be a country where neither side wants the other to get credit for anything, so we burn each other down (and ourselves) in the process. Is it any wonder that our infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways, train stations, airports) is crumbling? This kind of thing is the product of a country where the common good gets the shaft, because we’re all so busy playing zero sum political games. Say what you will about the Chinese and the Europeans, at least they seem to understand that there are certain things the government can do to benefit society and business as a whole and they go ahead and do them.

    We have bickerers who moan and complain about airports, convention districts, etc., being able to issue bonds to build improvements. We have folks who claim that wanting to raise the income tax 2 or 3 percent on top earners is “class warfare.” And people who spend their time bitching about “earmarks” and outlays on illegals, when if you eliminated both you’d reduce the deficit by close to zero.

    Our ideology, unfortunately, drives what we care about (earmark spending bad, military spending good, social welfare programs bad, subsidies to farmers and ranchers good), and the echo chambers of our national news media do nothing but reinforce our competing political views.

    I guess I sound like I’m whining now. I just want less name calling, more working for the common good, and less of the attitude that if we don’t think like each other politically we are bad people, or not Americans, or not decent.

    “E pluribus unum,” “out of many, one.” Not, “out of one one,” in spite of the great desire of those on the far left and those of the far right to have a country where everyone thinks the same.