This year I was very unclear if I was going to even vote or not. Growing up in my household it was instilled at a very early age, “It is your civic duty as a United States citizen to vote.” My interpretation of that statement has always been, “you vote”. End of discussion. So I have always voted. But this year I have grown tired of it all - the media, the politicians, i.e. Dems and Republicans, and I seriously cannot believe much of anything that comes out of their mouths when their energy is not congruent with what is being spoken.
After a conversation about political parties with a friend today, it became clear to me why and how I go about voting. I am not a registered elephant or donkey, and to be honest, I don’t care much for politics. For me it’s simple - Government should butt out and let me live my life without having to adhere to a hundred million laws and regulations, and the understanding that whatever party I vote for they are still going to take money out of my pocket. It is what it is.
As six PM rolled around I grabbed my coat & purse and headed out the door to vote at the school a block away (super convenient). As I looked at the ballot, I noticed how many other parties besides Dems’ & Repubs’ there were. It brought a smile to my face to know I wasn’t boxed into just one or the other, because quite frankly I hear mostly complaining when it comes to the one or the other. I generally don’t vote for either party, so I don’t complain because the people that I vote for don’t win. I refuse to vote for “the lesser of two evils” as that statement has run its course and I would rather not vote then be left with just that. The ballot showed me there are other parties out there that would also love my vote and I will vote for them as I see fit. Of course keeping in mind that government is a mighty big machine.
After I finished voting, I turned to walk out of the gymnasium and felt my eyes swelling with tears as both my Grandfathers faces flooded into my head. They no longer walk this earth, but their service to this country is not forgotten. Next, the name Lydia Taft followed by Frances Wright, Ernestine Rose, Margaret Fuller, Lucy Stone and Abby Foster ran through my head - all Suffragists. They too will not be forgotten.
I will continue to vote because I believe there can be more than just a two party system. I will vote to honor my family and friends who have served this nation and I will vote to remember the women that fought for the right to vote.
Did you vote today?