I voted today. With a feeling of profound awe and wonder, I exercised my right to vote by using an absentee ballot. Because I do not expect to be in the town of my primary residence on Election Day, I wanted to assure that my vote was counted. I was conscious of the enormous amount of money and the tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears that our nation and our nation’s forefathers poured into the singular moment when I put pen to paper to make a series of large X marks. When I look back on how my parents raised me, I am surprised how fervent I am about respecting the privilege of being able to vote. My family was guarded about having political discussions for the simple reason that, in all things, we sought to avoid conflict. Politics and religion were skirted at most family dinners. If push came to shove, religion was more acceptable than politics. I find it something of a wonder that I am so deeply patriotic and proud to be American. Much of my appreciation for American freedoms can be traced directly to the four years I spent in Madame Erlenmeyer’s french class reading the works of Marquis de LaFayette, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and baron de Montesquieu. While there are many ways I feel we could do better as a country and as a society as a whole, the basic tenets upon which this country is founded, to my mind, are strong, true and enduring. We may fall down in our execution but, like an old house with good bones, this country is worthy of our work and commitment toward some core ideals. These are clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Oops, I will have to step down now, someone needs my soapbox. Allow me to leave you with one last word....