Tuesday, November 6, 2018

GOAV (Get Out and Vote)

It sure does!

For a while now, we’ve been hearing “GOTV” (Get Out the Vote), encouragement to get involved in the political process, to reach out to possible voters, to stress the importance of casting a ballot. The pace has quickened as Election Day has approached, with huge numbers of volunteers fanning out, making phone calls, knocking on doors. Steve and I did some door-to-door canvassing last weekend, and were really heartened by people’s awareness of, and enthusiasm about, turning out at their polling places and voting. This is a central tenet of our country: every voter, no matter their gender, no matter the color of their skin, has a voice. We the people have power, power that is denied the citizens of many other countries. It is a truly wonderful day to be an American.

I have voted in every major election since 1976. My first vote was for Jimmy Carter. I was then a resident of Georgia, and very proud of my governor. However history rates him as President, I remain incredibly proud of the person Carter is—his intelligence, compassion, strong faith, the stellar way he has lived his post-White House life.

The races for President are the biggies, of course. The less “sexy” elections involve candidates for state representatives, for local officials, and I must confess to skipping a few of those here and there. But the older I get, and the less time I have remaining here on earth, the more determined I am not to squander my opportunities to let my voice be heard.

Evan has been working hard since January as the finance director for Gil Cisnero’s campaign in California. The race is a toss-up at this point, and I know there is a lot of nail-biting going on out there today. Gil seems to be a really terrific guy (former Naval officer, and current philanthropist who took a big lottery win in 2010 and used it for good, including starting an educational foundation), and a strong candidate. Win or lose, Gil has run a campaign of integrity, and I’m so happy people of that caliber still seek offices in our government.

In a matter of hours, it will all be over: the negative TV ads, the name-calling, the appeals to the worst in our nature. And that will be a great relief. But, whatever the outcomes, we will emerge with our nation intact. Then it will be time to get down to business, the day-to-day business of running the country. For every hot-button issue, there will be countless small ones—but these are the issues, and the people, that will most directly affect each of us personally…our governors, mayors, school boards. Let’s keep our eyes on the whole picture, not just the sharp focus snapshots that are taken once every four years.

And so this morning, I will do my civic duty as a United States citizen. I will vote. Please take a few minutes at some point today, and join me.

Evan at work

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