November 8 is heading this way like the train I’m riding on now. This time next weekend, it will all be over. My friend Thomas posted that he hopes that when all of this is over that everyone will move on with their lives and engage our political system by writing your congressman and senators instead of acting like a jerk on Facebook (my words not his).
I’ll just say this. Whether or not you believe that America was ever great or kind or nothing of the sort, please get out and vote. Our nation is – if it ever was truly great – great because it is a democracy. People in other countries wait in line for days in brutal conditions just to have the opportunity to vote. For much of our history, certain groups were not allowed to vote. Blacks were given the right to vote in 1870, and women were finally granted the right to vote in 1920. If you are a woman or an African-American, get out and vote. There are people who gave up their very lives for us to have the right.
I have voted for many presidential candidates that did not win. There have been years that I haven’t voted. I never vote a single party line. But the one thing I know for sure is that my life has never ended because my candidate did not win, and it hasn’t gotten any worse. My life’s ups and downs happen largely because of my own decisions and choices. But I can say that my quality of life at work has increasingly improved because of the protections and laws that have been put in place to enable women to be who they are in the workplace and not face discriminatory practices. In my own experience, the workplace environment has improved dramatically over the course of my career. So, I believe it’s heading in the right direction.
I expect that this will continue to improve regardless of who wins as I know that there are checks and balances in our political system. Do I think our system is corrupt? Yes, I do. Do I think it works well? No, not really. But in comparison to what other countries endure, we have it great.
For me, it’s a matter of setting expectations and changing focus. If I focus on the world coming to an end because my presidential candidate doesn’t win, I’ll probably be pretty scared about Tuesday. If I focus on my faith and what I can do to make my part of the world a more loving place, life will go on. My belief is very strong that God is in charge and whatever the outcome of this election, the world will keep on turning. We’ll just reap what we sow, and in a democracy you reap with the majority. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Get over it. Cheer or cry with your like-minded friends and then go find something fun to do that doesn’t include shooting other people.
So I urge you to get out and vote. If the majority chooses a different candidate than you would like, I urge you to focus your efforts on productive ways to make changes and be grateful that God put you in a country where you had a say. If the majority votes with you, please don’t expect that the world is suddenly going to turn in your favor. Nothing happens like that in our political system. This is a country of all kinds of people, and we have to share the wealth and the problems. In my opinion, if you were born in this country or were able to move here, you have won the lifetime lottery. It really doesn’t get a whole lot better than this. It’s not perfect but we aren’t dodging bullets on the way to the grocery… yet.
Please get out and vote!!