If You Get the Chance to Sit it Out or Vote: I Hope You Vote

We have heard SOOO much about the “swing states” for the past few months that many of us are ready to scream. Those of us who live in non-swing states at times feel that our vote is irrelevant, and that WE are irrelevant. It isn’t true. Last night when I heard the millionth talking head talking about swing states I began to hear the song fromThe Bells of St. Mary’s in my head. You know, the one that goes

“Or would you like to swing on a star, carry moon beams home in a jar; and be better off than you are”..    

Well: Today is our day. We do want to be better off than we are ~ in so many ways. There is work to be done; there always is and always will be. It is our day to tell the predictors and prognosticators that we do  matter.

Nothing can stop us but us. Do not let them suppress your right to vote. Call in the irregularities. Stand in line no matter how long it takes.

I grew up in Minnesota in a large extended family. Sunday gatherings at grandparents’ homes were filled with aunts and uncles and grandparents discussing and debating issues of the day. Grandpa Barry said that those who do not participate are missing out. He knew, as a WWI veteran, arm officer, and brilliant attorney, that rights and responsibilities are the life blood of a society. As my cousins and I grew up we were expected to participate in these discussions, and to be involved and vote.

My junior high teacher had us form groups to investigate the facts about the candidates during the primary season for the 1968 presidential election, and become campaign workers for the candidates of our choosing. During high school my friends and I actively participated in efforts to gain the vote for 18-year olds. My dad took me into the voting booth in 1968 to watch him cast his vote.

My first vote was via an absentee ballot for the 1972 presidential election, my freshman year of college.  Over the years there have been times of discouragement, when it seemed that my vote didn’t matter. I tend to feel that way when my candidate(s) or referendums do not really have a chance of winning. But that is flawed thinking on my part.

You see, voting is much more than a matter of who wins or loses. Just like we attempt to love our children or friends unconditionally, so too it is with commitment. What am I committed to when it comes to voting? I am completely committed to this: I insist on participating; I insist on having my say; I insist on CASTING my vote. How the world reacts to that particular vote, how the system and vote-counters choose to participate is THEIR choice. I have limited (if any) control over them. But you see, they will NOT change my decision to participate. They can be rude. They can choose to be dishonest or honest. They can choose to help our nation evolve or devolve. I can never, ever, stand by and be silent by not voting.

They must NOT (and NEVER, EVER WILL) decrease my commitment to voting, expressing my voice, and holding in my own heart what is important to me.

What is important to me will remain important to me no matter who tries to bully or ridicule me or my beliefs. I hope that is true for you, too. I must weigh my decisions with facts and consideration for what I feel is best.

When I cast my beautiful, secret ballot I will smile. I will whisper my thanks to God that I was born in a place and time where I can vote. I will pray, too, that the principles that I believe in and candidates that I believe in will win. If they don’t prevail today, maybe someday the principles I hold dear will become dear enough to others that they will be implemented.

But my deeply held belief today is this: the true victory today is when we participate. The other victory today would be if every vote gets counted, and every vote is legitimate–with no funny business. That may be a pipe dream. It is beyond my control.

But even though there is a chance of irregularities in the count, I will participate. I will not sit it out ~ and through my vote, I will dance: (Go ahead, read the song through and substitute the word vote for dance, just for today).

Today—I hope you vote. 

I am heading out to vote soon. I will add a picture of the lines either to this post or a separate one.

As Lee Ann Womack sings:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance….
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in Health and exercise, politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to If You Get the Chance to Sit it Out or Vote: I Hope You Vote

  1. I believe that it should be illegal not to vote (with the proviso that you can spoil your ballot), but then I agonise that it’s not democratic not to have the right not to vote.

    I know that a hundred years ago I would not have been allowed to vote. I lived in South Africa at a time when people died in the struggle to have a vote. Voter apathy is at the top of my pet hates list.

    And yet, and yet…if we had an election in the UK right now, I think I would spoil my ballot because I have so little faith in our politicians. I could cry.

    Here’s something to cheer you up: http://sharechair.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/its-election-day-at-last-a-nostalgic-look-at-elections-gone-by/

    • Kate Kresse says:

      it s at the top of my list too Tilly! I think people forget just how recently the South Africa situation was. It is easy to take the right to vote for granted, but essential not to. some states have “none of the above” as an option to vote for for some offices. Perhaps if that was a choice for every office nationwide, more people would turn out and vots.

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