Or don’t. Usually I don’t really care whether you exercise your civic right (and duty) if you’re a U.S. citizen. I trust in the balance of powers and figure that it will all work out one way or another.
What can I say? Most of my life I’ve identified myself as “apolitical,” rather than Republican, Democrat, liberal, or conservative. I’ve been a registered Independent my entire voting life, and I have crossed party lines many times depending on the candidate’s stand on particular issues. I’m not a one issue voter, though, so sometimes it’s hard for me to figure out where I want to place my support.
This presidential election year was similar, at least at the beginning. There were different faces emerging from the usual crowd. I heard different voices in the mix. I stood back and listened, not intently, because I knew most of them would fall by the wayside, but I was still at least a little bit interested.
As the campaign season progressed, though, it because impossible to listen from a distance. As the field narrowed and the voices got louder and more difficult to laugh off, I started to pay closer attention. I started to get concerned.
Now here we are, election day. This is where I would normally encourage you to get to your polling place and cast your vote, if you haven’t already. I normally wouldn’t care what you marked on your ballot, just that you were a participating citizen. This year is different. This year I’m afraid for our nation. I’m afraid that what was once considered a joke will become our nation’s new reality. I’m afraid that too many of us don’t recognize how dangerous a world leader with an out of control ego can be.
I still have faith in our nation. I still have faith in the balance of powers. I still believe that the future of our country is not as grim as some make it out to be. I’m not packing up and leaving the country, regardless of the outcome of the election, but I can’t help but think of my parents and grandparent who had to do that very thing when a certain leader came to power just two generations ago.
I hope you’ll use your vote wisely. I hope whomever ends up as our next leader does so with wisdom, restraint, and fairness. I hope so for all of our sakes.