Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I May Not Like Politics, But I Like Voting

It was Election Day here in the United States, and election days are always a big deal. The period leading up to Election Day is a time when candidates for office and political parties spend enormous heaps of money to “get their name out there”.

Apparently, getting a candidate’s name out there means saying many bad things about the other candidate in the election. This year one of the candidates accused his opponent of thinking our senior citizens didn’t need teeth; another person accused his challenger of not wanting people to work and earn a living wage.

In spite of the spate of negative advertisements, this year’s election was “only” a mid-term election. This means we weren’t voting for who was going to be president, which, apparently, means many people didn’t think it was an important election and consequently, didn’t get out to vote.

Allow me to point out that no election is unimportant. That is like saying that lunch isn’t important since it is neither breakfast nor dinner. Lunch is very important-especially to me. I like sandwiches, and lunch is the one time each day when I can eat a sandwich without people condemning me.

In fact, mid-term elections are also like a sandwich. If you take the middle of a sandwich away, you are only left with a couple slices of bread and mustard, which is not a sandwich; it is simply boring.

Mid-term elections are also like those other mid-terms -- mid-term exams in school. No industrious and serious student, would say, “I am not going to take my mid-term exams this semester. They aren’t important. Now, final exams, they are important; I will take those.

And so I voted on Tuesday. I voted because I am industrious, serious, and not boring. I also voted to discharge my civic duty. To sweeten the deal after I voted, the nice people at the polling place gave me a sticker that proclaimed “I voted”. I wore that sticker with pride, until I went to work that evening. I work in a home for individuals who score lower on some tests of intelligence; lower than you or I might score. One of the residents, a dear friend I have worked with for over a decade, saw my sticker. His eyes got big and round. “A sticker!” he exclaimed, “I want it.” Since it was the day after his birthday, I let him take the sticker.

It was later that I noticed that it seemed to be the “thing” for people to post pictures of their polling place or their ballot on social media (Odd, I know, but some people really shared those pictures). Many, many, people posted pictures of their little sticker, proclaiming that they had voted.

Swept up in the passion for the democratic process, I grabbed my phone to take a picture of my sticker and share with the world that I had exercised my democratic right and responsibility to vote.

Then I realized I had given my sticker away. So, I took a picture of my shirt, where the sticker once hung, and I posted that on social media. 

At first I felt flaky for posting a picture of my shirt without the sticker, but then I realized it wasn’t a big deal. After all it was just a mid-term election.