Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What It Means


I voted in the elections last fall. It was an easy gambit considering how much was at stake for all my regions: local, state, national, the world. Regime change, always peaceful in this country, was vital. We’d officially acknowledged the economic recession; the stock market and so many retirement funds were tanking; we were fighting two wars, but, mostly, we’d had eight years of Evil in the White House and it was time to return to the forces of Good.

I voted today, too, a little before seven this morning as I was out on a walk. It’s a little different voting in an election where the vast majority of people don’t even know it’s going on, where even the flags out on the street probably indicate to most people some obscure holiday that’s gotten by them.

Not only that, but of the roughly twelve offices requiring a vote, none of the candidates had any opposition and two of the positions had no candidates.

So why vote, then? That seems a quite reasonable question. If no one’s heated up enough even to challenge the candidates, it must mean that things are, well, pretty much okay. True enough. We really don’t have any major crises facing us right now – the town, township, and county are running all right. Unemployment’s high but that’s pretty much true everywhere. We’ve had a lot of controversial real estate development in recent years but that’s all but disappeared with the recession.

So why vote, then? Even though my polling place is on the route I took for my walk today, why take even the modest trouble or use that small bit of time to cast a meaningless vote?

Very simple. I want those folks in those elected offices – freed from the rigors and expense and worry of a challenged election – to know I’m here. Me: the voter, the boss. I’m here and I’m watching.

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