Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy election day. Now go vote. Or don't.

If you're reading today's column in hopes that I'll provide some advice or insight on voting today, then I have most certainly failed you.

If you know what you're voting for or against, then by all means head to the polls and cast your ballots. If you were waiting for my suggestions, do us all a favor and sit this one out. There are enough followers in the world. And there are far too many uninformed voters.

I know how I'm voting. And I know that most of the votes I cast will be for people who will not win their races. I'm okay with that. Voting isn't about siding with the winners. It's about siding with your conscience … your beliefs.

A vote for a candidate you believe in is never wasted, no matter how slim the odds of their election.

Tomorrow morning the newspapers and talk shows will be filled with people telling you what the results of todays election mean. They'll all be full of it. And likely full of themselves. Today's election is no more crucial than last years. Or next years. Today's election is the will of the people. As it is every year.

Lots of people have spent lots of money telling you that this election is the biggest thing since sliced bread … or peanut butter … depending on what they compare things to. You can listen to them and believe that the world is falling apart, or you can rest assured that no matter who wins today, the sun will rise tomorrow and we'll still have the same problems to deal with.

Sure, it may be true that the person you vote for is more capable of fixing those problems than the other person (or people) on the ballot. But in the long run, America will still be America, living on for our children … and our children’s children.

I will sleep easy tonight knowing that tomorrow is one day closer to the future … and the future holds wonderful things. The future will be cleaner, healthier and more prosperous. It will be ruled by intellect instead of fear. And compassion will win out over greed.

Today is just a hiccup. A rest stop on life's highway. A mere grain of sand in life's hourglass. No matter what happens today, we can fix it tomorrow. Or the tomorrow after that.

Many people will go to bed tonight in horror, knowing that the person they hoped would get elected lost. They'll write off the election process, saying it's a sham. They'll curse out their neighbors, saying they're ignorant for voting the way they did. They'll look into moving to Canada. Or France. Or whatever. They'll say their business can't survive in this environment and they'll have to put it up for sale.

Those people are wrong on many levels. Differences of opinions is one of the things that makes this great nation of ours so great in the first place. The ebb and flow of the direction of our country keep it on the straight and narrow – over the course of the trip. The political pendulum must swing. And swing, it will.

Maybe your vote will help it swing the way you want it to. Maybe your vote will prevent it from swinging too far. Or maybe you won't vote and you'll just watch as the pendulum swings.

No matter, tomorrow will come. And we'll all have to pick ourselves up by our boot straps and keep moving forward.

As long as we do that, the brand of politicians running the Capitol Building or the statehouse won't matter.