Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why I'm Voting

Okay. I admit it. I’m a bad citizen.

My first Presidential election, I voted for a third-party candidate just to thumb my nose at the two parties. My second one, I voted, but my candidate didn’t win, so I retired in disgust from the whole voting round.

But in this most recent election, I realized something. In such a huge country it’s easy to think that your vote doesn’t matter, like a snowflake doesn’t matter to a mountainside. But snowflakes make up avalanches. If enough of them move, the whole side of the mountain comes down. But you’ve gotta move first.

Enough of the corny metaphor. Here’s the thing: I don’t get to complain until I’ve actually put my vote in. This country isn’t perfect, but it’s mine. In this country, I have rights, like the right to work in a library full of books that don't agree with each other, and to make them all available to everybody. The right to practice my own religion, no matter who thinks it's stupid and brainwashy.

And tomorrow, most importantly, the right to vote. But it's more than a right. In exchange for the gift of living here, I have to give back by proclaiming how I want it to be run, and what rights I want extended to my neighbors.

So that’s why I’m voting tomorrow. Because this is my country, and no matter who wins, casting my vote is not a right, it’s a responsibility.

I've been a bad citizen in the past. But I've got the right to change that.

Check out the master list of Blog the Vote at Chasing Ray.

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