Friday, October 26, 2018

American Experience

Some folks believe the American Experience is the National Anthem. Other believe the essence of America is embodied in the pledge of allegiance. And still others think it's the fireworks of July 4th or the Veteran's Day parade. I believe the American Experience can be distilled down to the right to vote.

Yesterday the hunk and I went to vote, taking advantage of the early voting hours in Maryland. It was quite chilly as we stood in line outside, a longer line than I'd even hoped for on this, the first day of early voting. We arrived at 4:15 PM. It was 5:45 when we finished and walked back to our car. And all the time we waited and voted, I watched the folks around me, men and women, old and young, every skin color, and multiple languages as they patiently stood in line to vote. And it came to me that THIS was the American Experience.

Regardless of party affiliation or agenda, the true path to change is this simple act. We go to the polling place and exercise our right to vote. Yesterday, I stood with folks who showed up with their canes and walkers to vote. Young, old, wealthy, poor, they all came to join in solidarity for this most important responsibility of citizenship. They came to vote. One woman--possibly in her twenties--confessed it was her very first time to vote, and received a round of enthusiastic applause.

I have voted in every election since I was eligible to vote--fifty years now in several different states. When my children were old enough, we went together to vote, because the hunk and I believed citizenship is taught at home--not learned through school or television.

I hope there's a record turnout, because when it gets down to the most basic tenets of our society, the right to vote is there at the top. Vote. Take a friend. Go with your youngsters. Demonstrate good citizenship!

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