Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Today is election day in the USA and although I've already voted, I know that many of you will be heading to the polls today to cast your votes. It's been a contentious and hate-filled election, and without a truly viable third party, we're pretty much stuck choosing between two evils - the one we think we know, and the one who presents a great unknown. I voted several weeks ago via absentee ballot, and most of my friends in the area also voted early via absentee ballot or at one of the early polling places, but I want to emphasize the following to all of you today.


I don't care who you vote for and I don't care what your political leanings are. Just VOTE. When I look at the things we do in this nation that we can be proud of, voting is high on that list.

Women didn't win the right to vote until 1918, less than 100
years ago. They were beaten, arrested, and some even died to
obtain this right for women. 

People died to get the right to vote throughout the world. Women died, people of color died, even men died. The right to vote is not a given, it doesn't just happen when you are born and take your first breath. Even today, in some parts of the world, there is no voting permitted. Even today, people die fighting to obtain the right to cast a vote on a ballot. Yes, elections divide people, but they also provide a means to unify people behind the winning candidates. Complaints are loud, but if you didn't vote you have no platform for complaint. Most importantly, however, elections provide a method that allows the people to speak and direct their political course through the next period of years.

As recently as the 1960's some areas of the nation made it almost
impossible for people of color to cast a vote. Once again, people
died to make sure that ALL people in the USA had the right and the
ability to vote on election day. 

In the USA we don't vote for President. Of course, we'll be marking Clinton or Trump on the ballots today, but we actually are voting for a candidate that our electors will cast their ballot for in the Electoral College. It's cumbersome and rather ridiculous in this world of almost instant communication, that we don't elect a President via popular vote. But we don't, and that makes certain states more important than others. Thus the multiple visits and rallies in places like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

In 1868 hangings and riots killed almost 300 black men for registering
to vote in Opelousas, Louisiana. Want more information on this dark
day in our history? Here's the link. 

The election system isn't broken, but it's a creaking behemoth. It's time to look into changes to the methods used in elections. But whatever methods are used, the right to vote is one that is cherished in countries throughout the world. Don't waste your voice. VOTE.

In 2015 the women of Saudi Arabia were granted the right to vote and
eighteen women were elected into public office in municipal
elections. It was the first election open to female candidates and voters. 

Have a great Tuesday. I'll be lifting a glass tonight in celebration of no more election ads for at least one week. Hallelujah!

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