Today feels like we are witnessing something historic. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive democratic nominee of the 2016 election, has achieved something no woman has been able to do before her and whether or not you are a fan, it’s a feat that should be celebrated. Her policies may or may not mesh with yours but, regardless, she has given millions of young girls an example of what is possible to do. She has put a face and name to what may have only once been a fantasy to generations of Americans, men and women alike.
Politics aside, election days are always exciting and to me, somewhat emotional. I think about so many other countries in the world that voting and the democratic process is either unheard of or fought for so valiantly. It makes me pause to appreciate how lucky we are to have the right to vote so easily here- and to try not to take for granted the struggles others have made before me to gain that very right.
I think about new American citizens who are voting for the first time and how proud they must be. I think about young eighteen year olds and recall the first time I was old enough to vote in an election and the puffed up feeling I had at being considered an adult in the eyes of my country.
I like waking up early and going to our local polling place and seeing neighbors there, either working behind the check-in desk or waiting in line with me. It always feels so down-home and quaint to chat with people I don’t see too often; to ask of their families and pets, jobs, the weather- any subject other than why we’re all there waiting in line together. Certainly no one wants to get in trouble with the polling officials by discussing candidates. And when it’s over, after making sure no hanging chads were dangling and all the bubbles were filled in, I put on that sticker with pride.
I may not always see the candidate I like best win, but I know I did my part as an American citizen to do what so many other people in the world don’t have the power of doing themselves. Regardless of any political outcome, we owe it to our country and the democratic process to use our voice and be heard by our government. If you don’t do anything else today, at least one action will speak volumes. Go vote!!