You’re tired of it, I’m sure, and honestly so am I, despite me being the one writing this. The relentlessness of it: the B-list celebrity montages in front of white screens trying to be funny and #relatable, the yard signs that make every heavily traveled intersection look like Uncle Sam threw up a Star Pop by the telephone pole, the never-ending mailers and radio/TV ads throwing insults back and forth like they own stock in the mud-slinging industry. But there is a light. Today is Election Day.
The hyperbole machine tells us this is the most important election in our lifetimes, and just like escalating quarterback prices and the oddity that at one point Matthew Stafford was the highest paid QB of all time, they aren’t wrong until the next one. With all of the House and Senate races up for grabs, the balance of power for the next two years hangs in the ether, waiting for a new day to arise and show us like Puxantawny Phil which way the world is going.
I am going to make this very very clear: I am not going to tell you WHO or WHAT to vote for. That is not my modus operandi. At least in this space, all I ask for is your vote, and that you vote as an educated person. Thomas Jefferson, he of such hits as the Declaration of Independence and “What’d I Miss”1 once was quoted as saying, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Go to the ballot box knowing about the issues and candidates on the ballot. Places like ballotpedia.org and vote.org have what will be on your ballot and are unbiased, bipartisan places you can go to get information about the issues and the candidates and also will give you the address and/or directions to your polling place. VoteSaveAmerica.com has the ability to fill out a ballot so you can email or print it out and bring it with you to the polling place.2
I don’t care about who you vote for or how much you dislike any/all of the candidates. You can go to your polling place today, get handed a ballot with your name on it and immediately hand it back because you don’t like any of the candidates and I consider that a win in my book. That at least ticks a box that a ballot was placed without candidates, providing useful information to those candidates. And we all know we love more data.3 Also, don’t let exit polls deter you from voting either. Polls are unreliable and only a guesstimate of what has happened.
My last plea is this: vote because you can. Vote because it gives you a voice. Vote because people died so as to allow you the ability to have a say in how and by whom you are governed. Both my grandfathers fought in different wars. They fought so that I can sit at my desk and wear my “Yes Way Jose” shirt and beg you to vote. Be the change. Hold the line. Vote how you want to because you can. There are so many people in this world that don’t have the ability or the means with which to have an impact on their lives. But you do. What are you going to do with it?