(Edit: I spat out this piece of stentorian dross before Hurricane Sandy. If you are reading this and still without power, feel free to skip this entry so as to save yourself a self-righteous bludgeoning about the head.)
I won’t pretend to tell you who to vote for at the polls tomorrow.
But I will tell you to vote.
Why? Well, my grandpa would have wanted you to. It seems pretty clear from the drawings and exhortations he put on his calendars over the years.
(Look at the mob in the 1965 illustration above, or the 1963 illustration below. We’ll see if that’s what the turnout looks like tomorrow.)
OK, maybe that’s not a compelling reason to anyone who didn’t know my grandpa.
But seriously: People surrendered their lives to give us this right, and to keep it for us.
Think of a Revolutionary War farmer-turned-soldier lying crumpled next to his musket in some long-ago colonial clearing. Then ask yourself if you really need to be in that much of a hurry to get to work, or to get home to cook.
There is nothing jingoistic or stentorian or unseemly in appreciating the gift we have and putting it to use.
We are fortunate to have it. So, whatever our views, let us use it.
I expect Twitter to be awash today and tomorrow with people saying, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about what happens.”
I have never had any truck with that statement, me.
For one thing, logic has never stopped anyone from complaining, anytime, anywhere.
For another … well, if you are American, you do have a right to complain about what happens, regardless of whether you vote or eat cheeseburgers or support public television or make any one of a million other personal choices.
You have a right to piss and moan until you are blue in the face, about anything you want, without any kings or dictators to insist you hew to a single state-sanctioned party line.
The people who gave their blood and sweat so we could vote earned us that freedom too.
Seems kind of a pity to use their sacrifice in such a petty way, though.