Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on Why I Voted

When I was younger, I used to get wrapped up in political issues. I often was involved in heated discussions at work or among friends regarding topics, myself falling on the more liberal side. I was dissatisfied and angry most of the time, and adversarial towards others who had different opinions.

Over time, I have become less concerned with large political things and more concerned with making my own way. Rather than go out and carry a sign and yell until I'm blue in the face, I focus on leading a life of peace and love; attempting to be the best person I can be. I learned I cannot improve the world by arguing over issues, but if I carry myself with respect and love for others I at least have a small chance of making a difference.

So when I strolled into the polling place this morning, I found myself wondering what I was doing there. Minnesota is electing a new governor, and while I watched enough of a debate to get an idea of who I liked best, I couldn't help thinking that the world will go on regardless of who is governor. And then there are all the small races, where only some of the names are familiar to me from seeing yard signs while walking the dog.

As I strolled out of the polling place it occurred to me that I vote because I can, and really no other reason. There are places in the world where elections are fixed, or the people are coerced into voting for one certain candidate. Even in our own country, it is as recent as a hundred years ago when women obtained the right to vote and as recent as fifty people of color obtained the same right. This is a right that was fought for, and not one to snub in the face. Lots of people put their hearts and souls into making sure people like me can have a say.

So although sometimes my methods are arbitrary (e.g. one of the small races, conservation officer or something like that, had a candidate with the same name as an uncle of mine, so I voted for him), at least I get out there and honor my right.

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