Election Day 2016

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.  ~Robert Byrne, American author

It’s all anybody has talked about for months on end —
This Presidential Election Day madness.
Candidates have been out in full force
Flying to and fro across this great land,
Seeking to persuade the electorate
They know best what needs to be done
To solve problems in the economy, healthcare,
And other areas often seen as perplexing.

At last We the People have our say.

Most of us are tired of the rhetoric.
The innuendos, the promises, the ugliness of it all.
And while these “public servants” purport to work for us,
We’re wise enough to see they really don’t.
They vote themselves raises, they take advantage of laws
That put them above the common man.
If they really worked for us, we could fire them
At any time … and sometimes, we should.

At last We the People have our say.

We’ve suffered through this every-four-years ritual.
We’ve listened to debates, read newspaper analyses,
Heard television ads, grown accustomed to personalities.
Some of us have prayed for wisdom in choosing,
Others have sought discernment from those they respect.
The time for deciding is finally upon us.
What’s important now is going to the polls,
Making your voice count, exercising your voting right.

At last We the People have our say.

Elections are somewhat similar to athletic competitions.
We put on our Game Day faces, taunt our adversaries,
Brag about how hard we’re going to beat them.
But when push turns into shove, and the game’s at its end,
Opposing coaches and teams clasp hands and say “Good game.”
And just as they return to work, our opposing political parties
Make nice with one another, smile, offer congratulations,
And tuck all the nastiness away for another four years.

At last We the People have our say.

Go Vote on Tuesday

Tuesday just can’t come fast enough.

For Tuesday is Presidential Election Day in the United States.

A day we’ll go behind closed doors and vote our preferences, then wait to learn who are the winners and who are the losers.

Regardless of your political affiliations, if you’re at all like me, you’ll be glad to see this whole mess end.

Far too long, we’ve been inundated with ads. With finger-pointing and name-calling.

“He said…”

“No, she said…”

“Well, he meant…”

And so it goes.

While some people have genuinely followed the whole process — listening in on candidates’ forums, watching debates, researching the issues — others made up their minds early and now turn a deaf ear to anything that might be contradictory.

In this country, that’s their right.

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon (and perhaps things have always gotten ugly in election years), but it seems to me that this one has been nastier than others from the past.

More rumors. More lies. More money frittered away when people are hurting.

And fewer places to turn for unbiased, factual reporting.

Most of you know I was trained as a journalist. “Fair” and “impartial” were our bywords long before FOX News adopted them and ran with them.

Sad to say, I wouldn’t fit in with the profession any more, so it’s a good thing I got out when I did.

Journalists used to be proud of being told, “You call ’em like you see ’em.”

Now it’s all about money. Ad revenues. Staying on the good side of those in power.

But I digress.

What’s important is that we still have the privilege of voting. Of being a small part of the electoral process. Of feeling like we matter.

For we do, you know.

Every vote counts. If you doubt that, ask the person who stayed home, only to learn his candidate lost by one vote.

So GO VOTE. Our forefathers fought and lost their lives that we might have that right. Surely they deserve not only our gratitude but also our exercising of the rights they sought to preserve.