Monday, October 29, 2012

I Vote

I vote because I love the democratic process.
I vote because it is empowering.
I vote because it gives me a sense of belonging.
I vote because I love to win. 
I just love it!

Ever since I can remember, I always found politics engaging.  I must have been about four years old when I first got the political bug.  Back then my parents were supporters of the party in power, Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) – the blue party.  Another reason why to this day I love blue and HATE red.  I know.  I know.  Don’t judge me!  I attended political meetings with my parents at a very early age.  Every year we marched on Labour Day in solidarity with our party.  We were just blue to the bones.

When I was finally eligible to vote (the one and only time I ever voted in Antigua), I was one of the first persons in line.  To this day, voting is something I accomplish first thing in the morning.  Nothing comes between me and my ballot.

The idea of proving to my opponents that my side is more right than their side is wrong is invigorating.  Obviously, winning doesn’t necessarily prove that, but it sure gives that ‘stick it to you’ feeling.  And the only reason why I know that winning doesn’t necessarily prove it, is because every time my side loses, I find numerous reasons as to why my side is still right. 

Not only do I love to vote, but I’m truly obsessed with politics.  I love learning about the history behind the politicians, the history behind their policies and the mindset behind their actions.  My TV is never set too far from MSNBC.  I am enthralled by the daily political shenanigans.  I am enthused and appalled by the nonsense some of the extremists exhibit.

Watching TV, arguing with the TV, talking with my kids, debating with my friends - all of this is not enough.  I want to be more involved.  I have convinced a cynical neighbor to register and vote.  I have encouraged and reminded others to vote.  I use political analogies in everything!

So when Obama for America called me a couple of months ago to volunteer, boy was I eager.  Unfortunately the timing was wrong.  Working on a campaign in the evening and leaving my children unattended would be a bit much.  I received another call just a few days ago, but of course my kids are still in the midst of soccer season, and there is no way I’m missing their games.  We settled for me to campaign the day before Election Day.  My job will be to get Democrats out to vote. 

For some reason I noticed I didn’t seem as enthusiastic as I should have.  After all I am given the opportunity to help the President of the United States get elected to a second term.  And not just any president – my favorite president.  One of my biggest inspirations, and God knows I just don’t give any and anyone that title.

Why wasn’t I feeling like I just won the lottery?

Then it hit me.  I used to be in sales.  I used to door knock.  I used to get doors closed in my face, if I was lucky enough to get someone to come to the door.  I used to trek in cold weather to find clients.  And all of that was for my livelihood.

For all the reasons why I love to vote, I cannot comprehend why others do NOT exercise their civic duties.  (Do I have to add that I also LOVE jury duty?)

And I said to myself, as much as I love the Obamas, as much as I love the process, as much as I get nervous on election night, as much as I’m stressed that Mitt Romney might be the 45th President, there is no way I’m about to convince anyone who registered as a Democrat, that taking a few minutes out of their busy schedule to cast a vote is of the utmost importance.

There is too much at stake.  These are the same people who will benefit if Roe v. Wade is not overturned.  These are the same people who will benefit if Obamacare (as we now affectionately call it) is not repealed.  These are the same people who will benefit if the very wealthy get to pay a little bit more in taxes than they do now.  These are the same people who will benefit if this country gets rebuilt, if more good teachers are hired, if the war in Afghanistan ends, if no new war starts in the Middle East, if climate change is not seen as a joke.

And these same people who will spend hours a week watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Basketball Wives, Real Housewives of (fill in your favorite city), who will find the time to vote for their favorites on Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and the likes, cannot vote in a national election, something that will benefit them directly.

I’m sorry.  And yeah call me selfish, but perspectively speaking, if I have to force you to take the medicine to save your own life, then maybe you don’t deserve that medicine. 


  1. I typically shy away from posting/commenting on anything pertaining to politics, especially as of late, because everyone is so angry, but I have to say, I completely agree with what you said. I do have to add, I vote because it's a privilege that my ancestors fought and died for and I refuse to have let their deaths been in vain because I'm too lazy to get out to the polls.

    I live in Charlotte, so I got a chance to help out at the DNC when it was here (even though I wasn't allowed to blog about it) It was such an amazing oppurtunity, to see the political process unfolding before my eyes.

    I've been voting since a few months after my 18th birthday, and I will continue to do so until I am physically unable to walk up to that poll and proudly fill out my ballot.


  2. Great piece Myra. I too am a political junky. Can't get enough. Here's hope'in your guy gets elected a second term.


  3. Great piece. I share many of your feelings.