This video is aimed squarely at me. The year this premiered on the airwaves was the first time I was eligible to vote. Dear reader, I went to the polls with pride. That civic pride is rekindled every time I partake in an election, and I vote every time I can: Midterms, primaries, school board elections, city counsel elections… you name it, I get to the polls.
The second time I voted was in a city primary a year after this song came out. I walked to the elementary school about half a block down from my folk’s place before my afternoon shift as a busboy. To my shock there was a single election official and two booths as the entirety of the apparatus. For the presidential election the room had been buzzing with people and more than two dozen booths. She was elderly and sat there chatting with one of my retired neighbors. They were both surprised and delighted to see me. I was the 19th person to vote that day and, according to the election judge, “easily four decades younger than anyone else who has been in”.
They asked me if I knew who I was going to vote for. I told them I wasn’t there to vote *for* someone, I was there to vote against someone. There was a woman-hater on the ballot and I was there to make sure he didn’t get that party’s nomination. They both laughed in a Midwestern way that acknowledged both my verve and the power of the ballot as a reinforcement of norms.
Today is the day that people are headed to the polls to vote not just for people to fill government jobs, but ideas of what this nation is. You want a nation that reflects your values of open-ness, inclusiveness, of civil liberty, get to the polls and make it happen. It takes less time than running to the store for groceries! Especially if you are under 40, get out there. Text your friends and see if they need a ride to the polls.
Vote, baby, vote! Its sexy as hell.
(Song recommendation by Cory Funk)