Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As Luck Would Have It

Election Day falls to me.

I don't understand being apathetic about voting. I understand being apathetic about politics--at this point, with the crazed state of California politics, I want to lie down and avoid the whole thing. The He-Said-She-Said nature of political advertisements is numbing, and in my darker hours I think that that's just what they want. But voting itself is sacred. First off, it's taken centuries to get to the point where all of us (theoretically) can vote. Black, white, male, female, propertied or without a dime. The Founders, prisoners of their own time, place, and prejudices, insisted that the franchise was limited to landed white men. Period. I never forget that my grandmother wasn't allowed to vote until the 1920s. I never forget that when I was a kid there were all sorts of "rules" in place to keep the undesireable voter (black, poor, illiterate) from voting. I never forget that my very first vote was thrown out because the local party machine was afraid that having a bunch of newly enfranchised kids voting might throw them out of power (they were right, tho' it took a couple of years to happen). When my kids were small I made a point of taking them with me to vote, on the theory that it would give them a sense of how critical a contribution to the public and private weal this is.

If you don't vote, you're giving up your chance to change things. Or (if that's the way you feel about it) to make sure things stay the way they are.

If you don't vote, you don't get to bitch about how screwed up things are. Period.

If you don't vote, the terrorists (and I'm not talking about 9/11 here) will have won.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but: go vote.

Now I'm going to take the Wonder Dog for a drag.


Steven Gould said...

Testify, sister!

I might as well use religous language--the other side is misusing it. And there is an alarming tendency that we're sliding toward a theocracy for the benefit of corporations.

Jitters. I'm nervous and waiting and not quite sure how I'll get through the returns tonight.

Maureen McHugh said...

Voting in my corner of Ohio was weird. I'm a reasonably smart person. I got my new, giant ballot and went to my voting booth, which for the first time in MY memory was not a curtained booth but just a place to stand and vote.

I got a scan ballot but the folder instructions were so perplexing that both me and the woman next to me had to confer to figure out what we were going to do.

And then I took my naked ballot and handed it to an election official who could clearly see my decisions, and he showed me how to scan it.

I voted. I stayed in Ohio to vote before moving to Texas. But I have a creepy feeling about the whole experience.

Steven Gould said...

It's not looking so bad. I'm still wiped from WFC (and travel) so I'm going to bed, but it's not looking so bad...

Madeleine Robins said...

It's looking even better this morning.