Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An Election-Day Interruption

Today, I'm interrupting my expansion on five things you may not know about me to give you a sixth:

6. I believe that if you're an American citizen, and you don't vote, you have absolutely no right to complain about what happens in this country.

Therefore, if you're not out there voting today, for whatever reason, that's fine, no problem. But if I run into you somewhere (on the street, on my blog, on your own blog) complaining in six months, I'm not going to be the least bit sympathetic.

Don't equate protest with apathy. This country wasn't founded by a bunch of people who decided to sit around at home and complain about the tyrannies of dictators. No. They protested. They uprooted themselves for change. They risked life and limb for change. All we ask of people today is to drive over to your nearest voting booth and to cast a few votes. And if, no matter how much you might think this country is going to hell in a handbucket, you don't happen to think you're extraordinarily lucky, then get out and go talk to some recent immigrants from Mexico or Cuba (find out why they're so willing to cross into this country illegally) . Or rent Hotel Rwanda and watch it. Or do a little research and find out about the terrors of the Taliban. Or go visit Ellis Island. It will give you a whole new perspective on our country. And if you're not registered to vote, then get out there and do so now, before the next election.

Meanwhile, I'll see the rest of you at the voting booth.


Rebecca H. said...

I voted! I voted! Now I can complain :). Actually, I promise I won't complain much.

litlove said...

Can anyone explain what these mid-term elections are for to me? Sorry - my knowledge of American politics is poor, but I'm keen to learn!

Emily Barton said...

Yea, Dorr! I hope you're as happy today as I am.

Litlove, explaining it is a tall order, but in a nutshell, each state sends representatives to the House of Representatives and Senators to the Senate. Representatives serve 2-year terms and Senators serve 6-year terms (thus "mid-term" -- "term" meaning a president's "term" elections). Democrats (and, thus, I) are celebrating today, because for the first time in 12 years, we've got control of the House. As I write this, the Senate is still up in the air, with two states undecided, but it will at least be 50-50. It seems the biggest factor in the votes yesterday is that people were voting for change and against Bush (or, rather, against his party, since he wasn't not running), which is a very hopeful thing.

Anonymous said...

Yippee. All that voting seems to have worked pretty well!

litlove said...

Emily that is a brilliant explanation. Thank you!

Froshty said...

I voted and my 18-year-old daughter voted with me--it was her very first time. And what a happy election day it was for both of us.