I'm going to vote tomorrow. Why have I waited until tomorrow when folks have been voting for over two weeks? Why did I wait until the last day to go down to the polls and vote when I truly believe everyone I know has voted already? Yet I sit here, casually waiting for......for what.....FOR ELECTION DAY!
I've been voting since I was twenty one. I've voted Democrat and I've voted Republican. I've voted for candidates I really liked and I've voted for candidates I didn't like. But still....I voted! Still, this election, most folks I know are shocked that I'm waiting until Election Day to vote! Why? Because I vote on ELECTION DAY!
I admit that I could have voted at the county library or I could have voted over at the Second Baptist Church. It was my choice - it was convenient. But, if I waited until Election Day (the caps are deliberate) I'd, of course, had to vote over at my polling place, the Don Owens Sports Center. That's what I'm going to do!
Why is this such a big deal to me? Why would I care when or where folks voted? A vote is a vote, isn't it?
Well....maybe it is and maybe it isn't.
Back in the old days of crooked politics in New York, Chicago, (Little Rock?) and most other cities around the country, a few honest people tried to stop devious voters from voting "early and often." There was also an attempt to stop the "bosses" from trading booze for votes. Hence there was no consumption of alcohol on Election Day.
Well.....forget all that. With voting going on for weeks before Election Day, at alternate polling places around the country, opportunities for corruption abound. Drinking during "Election Month" is now legal (except on Election Day???? I find that strange?) and I'd bet a dollar against a donut we're back to the days of the boys down at Tammany Hall (okay, Tammany Hall is gone but the philosophy remains) trading booze for votes. Electronic voting machine error is now a fact of life, leading to the real likelyhood of rampant voting fraud at many of those alternate polling places.
And you know.....it seems like no one really cares. It makes me feel more than a little ashamed of our wonderful country. Still, tomorrow at around ten I'm going to drive over to Don Owens Sports Center. I'll wait in line (that is, if everyone hasn't voted already) and I'll pull some of those levers (oh yeah, we don't do that any more, what with electronics and all.)
I know....I just know, that I'll walk out to my car afterward wondering what has happened to the country I love. Something terribly wrong has happened and I honestly don't think it's repairable. Sadly I believe there are too many citizens who are willing to paraphrase the great words of John F. Kennedy. Their mantra now is:
"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you."
And that hurts my heart.
In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. Charles de Gaulle