My favorite sticker

I picked up my favorite sticker yesterday and it didn’t cost me a dime.

Of course, it wasn’t free either. We all know that.

I earned that sticker by casting my ballot although, even as I proudly stuck it on my sweater, just under my left collar-bone and above my heart, I understood that so many others deserved much more credit for my cool little accessory.

When I vote, I think about the suffragettes, many of whom fought fiercely, risked everything. and never got to cast a single vote. I honor the military, our human, global force field and some of the finest men and women I know. Sometimes the inalienable rights we enjoy in the course of our ordinary lives depend on the 24-hour bravery of a lonely kid in a dusty foxhole. I like to remember that when I breeze into a voting both to make my choice.

I also think about the candidates. Though their efforts vary, they all put their names on the line, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I love grass roots politics, the door-to-door, town meeting, stick a yard sign in the ground, baby kissing, hand shaking, speech making, corn on the cob eating, letter writing, hullabaloo that brings the candidates to the people.

I find genuine political debate fascinating and, if someone is willing to share, I’m always interested in what convinces a voter to choose one candidate over the other.

I’m all for a good protest too. Stand up for what you believe in! March! Make the phone call! Defend your beliefs!

But, if you really want to make a difference, you have to vote.

Want to support the disenfranchised? Vote.

Defend fiscal responsibility? Vote.

Protect rights? Vote. Allow access? Vote. Deny access? Vote.

It’s easy to post comments from a comfy chair in your living room. It’s exciting to link arms and march on Washington. It’s satisfying to send an email from a link in your Facebook feed.

But, if you really want your voice to stand for something in this country, you have to vote. Consistently. In the big, bright national elections and in the quiet local ones too.

You can make the signs, tweet the sound bites, wear the T-shirts and shout as loud as you want.

But, if you have the legal right to do so and you don’t vote, you’re not really saying anything at all.

I apologize for the preachy nature of this post, but I was voter number 56 in my ward yesterday, seven hours after the polls opened, and I think that’s ridiculous.


3 thoughts on “My favorite sticker

  1. Beautifully said. When I hear people bashing this county, the one thought that always comes to my mind is, do you have any idea what our soldiers endured when fighting for our freedoms? Can you imagine standing on the back of a troop carrier on D-Day, watching the soldier in front of you being shot, and you’re next in line. What would go through your mind at a time like that. The water is red with blood, and your orders are to move forward to what must have seemed like certain death, yet you know it’s your duty, so you do it.
    I was in the Army Reserve during the Vietnam war, and after your training, you become a trained killer. You would do anything for the man next to you, but I still don’t know how you walk into almost certain death in a situation like D-Day.
    Reading your blog just gets me thinking about this again, and how I wish some people would realize what soldiers from all over the world sacrificed for them. OK I’m done now.

    1. It really is sobering to think about and I think it’s important to remember that all of the freedoms we enjoy today came at a price. P.S. Thank you for your comment and your service.

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