Today, we decide the leader of this country and the free world for the next four years. It is a right that our Founders fought a mighty empire for in the 18th century. It is a right that pitted brother against brother in a bloody civil war in the 19th century. It is a right that women fought for in the 20th century. You may not like the choices this year, but you owe it to people like James Madison, Sam and John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony.
Other countries can only dream of what we take for granted here in the United States. While the Left rails against voter ID laws, it all seems rather trivial after seeing pictures of Iraqis with purple thumb prints after the fall of Saddam Hussein. It all seems trivial when we see pictures of weeping women and men casting a vote with meaning and a choice after years of totalitarian Communist rule. Too many patriots and heroes have died for this day.
Given early voting windows and absentee ballots, there is no reason NOT to vote. Sure, the presidential choices suck this year, but nothing says you HAVE to vote for either one of them. Every voter is deciding on their representative to the House this year. Voters in one-third the states are voting for a Senator. Voters in other states are voting for their Governor or members of their state legislatures.
Many are voting on vitally important referendum questions and some trivial ones like plastic grocery bags in California. This is your opportunity to have a say in these decisions. Even if you don’t vote for anyone for President, you have an obligation and civic duty to show up and vote today.
The franchise is a sacred trust our Founders bequeathed to the Nation. Not everyone has enjoyed that franchise and some still are denied that right today. Not voting at all because “they’re all crooked” or “they both stink” is not an excuse. Holding your nose and pulling the lever for someone should not be an option when there are other options.
The peaceful and orderly transition of power in the United States is what sets us apart from other countries and democracies. It is an unspoken understanding that at the end of the day we are all Americans, not some subsets of hyphenated demographic groups. Of course there are those who will cry foul- the sore losers. But no matter the outcome, our Founders had the foresight to allow for corrections. Despite winning, no one is safe from the wrath of voters in the future.
Donald Trump tapped into a very real and palpable anger within the electorate, but we must not let anger guide our decisions lest we end the experiment in democracy our Founders started in 1787.
A very good Muslim friend of mine and very good African-American friend of mine fear a Donald Trump presidency. It’s funny, but many feared the same thing about a Barack Obama presidency, yet here we are eight years later a little worse for the wear, but we survived. We will survive a Clinton or Trump presidency and the best insurance of proving it is showing up and voting today.
The worst thing anyone could do is lose faith in the Republic. In the end, the American people will have spoken and what better way to honor all those dead patriots than to say, “I voted on November 8th, 2016.” You may not like the final result despite which side you are on, but it is what it is and we will survive.