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If You Don’t Vote, Who Will? Day 138

November 2, 2010

My friends on Facebook know that I tend to post about non-political issues these days. Once upon a time, I made the mistake of saying that I believe all Americans should have access to healthcare, a statement I found rather non-controversial. Eighty-five comments later, I had to delete the entire thread and de-friend a somewhat newer acquaintance who had threatened another of my dearest friends.

Truthfully, we do live in a passionate country, and I rejoice over that enthusiasm when we as a society funnel our efforts into helpful and positive causes and endeavors. Unfortunately, from certain cities’ sports fans to other political hotbeds, our energy can go painfully awry. Take for example the Rand Paul rally last week where supporter Tim Profitt stepped on protester Lauren Vale’s head, causing a concussion. Yes, bar fights and sports riots happen, unfortunately. We all studied the French Revolution and know that sometimes violence accompanies politics, but really? As we complain about terrorists and extremism, could our country potentially head further in this direction, promoting people to attack peaceful young female protesters or worse?

My point? As I run out to the post office to mail my absentee ballot, I encourage everyone to embrace their right to vote today. Voting makes me uncomfortable, in all honesty. I don’t feel the least qualified to sit on a committee of thousands or millions to hire the next New York Senator, Congressman, Attorney General, or Comptroller. Studying my ballot last night, I carefully reviewed all of the dynamics of the races one more time, realizing how important a position like Comptroller becomes in an economically difficult time and how party lines in many cases really don’t tell the whole story.

Regardless of the complications involved in choosing a political candidate, we live in a country where each citizen has the right (and appointed privilege) to participate in making incredibly important and difficult decisions, regularly. I adore my friends and colleagues, and I know incredibly intelligent people on both sides of the conservative versus liberal spectrum. Truthfully, I have little fear about intelligent, thoughtful Americans standing in the election booths today. I earnestly hope as many of them as possible do. The real question remains, if you don’t vote, who will?

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