I Love Voting And I Want You To Love It, Too
November 2, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – I’ve voted!
I love voting and I want you to love it, too. Today is an important day for our country and every election, whether it has local or national implications, voting is not just an exercise in democracy, as it surely is, but it is also an all access pass to the process that impacts every facet of your life. I do not believe I am being overly dramatic in my portrayal of the exercise of voting.
As I have shared in an earlier post and as the small bio that appears at the end of each of my posts states, I was once a candidate for Congress. The journey for that seat profoundly changed me and will forever be the greatest accomplishment of my life, even though I lost. Putting myself out there for the masses to dissect and in some cases dismember was incredible and allowed me to look inside a process few ever get to do. That singular experience took the better part of two years of my life, and in the heat of the fire that burned inside me to seek lasting, empowered change; I did something both selfish and selfless: I made an effort to make a difference from the inside out and the center of that was all about voting.
Elections are about many things that mater. Referendums, representatives, proposal and propositions all share in a ballot that will define how we proceed locally and nationally. Elections are a pure process that gives us pristine access to power for one small amount of time. And while I am standing there with pen in hand filling in that oval next to the person or program that asks my input, it is in the moment that I am greater than the process itself. It is in that moment that we are all equal without exception to race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. It is a moment in time where I feel I matter. I don’t take that lightly.
The prediction is that somewhere just over 52% of registered voters nationally will actually vote today. I’ve never quite understood, especially with the option of absentee balloting, why anyone would not vote, or for that matter why anyone would not register to vote, but it is a truth and my words ring hallow to them anyway. But I am not asking you to vote because who am I to make that ask? But I am asking you to think about how important voting is and then ask yourself why you aren’t voting, if you aren’t.
I’ve always gotten a kick out of those who say if you don’t vote you have no right to complain, but that is not true. You actually have a constitutional right to complain, whether you vote or not. Some would say your complaining should not be taken seriously if you do not vote, but that is false as well because whether or not you vote you still have opinions and as scary as this may be, there are people who don’t vote and who do complain that have influence over other people who do vote. It’s just a simple fact. So motivating people to vote is a very personal thing. Sometimes it’s about an issue and sometimes it’s about a person, but whatever motivates you to actually vote remains personal.
Just as we can’t force people to stop or start any behavior we believe is in or against their best interest, we can’t force people to vote, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and this is my effort today.
We don’t all agree on all issues and never will. It is clear by the comments I get here and the e-mail you send me we clearly don’t see eye to eye on many issues, and that’s fine, but we should all agree that the same issues we are at odds about are the same reasons you should vote today, don’t you agree?
I voted and I feel great about it. The results probably will not agree with the way I voted, but I take great satisfaction in knowing I had a say in the process and that, dear friends, is why I vote. It’s really that simple and that’s enough for me.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can read his Blog at www.mediatraining.me..