Today is election day, a day which is, as far as I’m concerned, the closest thing the secular world has to a Catholic holy day of obligation.
I know that rise in early voting makes that attitude moot to some degree but for me, election day remains sacred.
These days part of it is sentimental, After she retired my mother used to work the polls and the very last time I visited her at home was election day 2012. She looked terrible and I offered to drive her to the polls if she wished to vote. She struggled to her feet and I walked with her to my car. When she got to the polling station, there was no room to park and she insisted on getting out herself. The moment she left the car (and was officially in public) it was as if a switch was turned. She was suddenly herself and strode into the school, 15 minutes later she crisply walked out having greeted her former co-workers after voting and exchanging some small talk and got back into the car. It wasn’t until I had pulled out of the school parking lot that she allowed reality to reassert itself and she once again became the frail woman who would be dead in less than 40 days.
This attitude concerning voting is not confined to my family In 2016 I told the story of a handicapped friend who I took to the polls:
I got to his place at 8:45 AM. It took him an hour to get dressed, a solid 10-12 minutes to hobble on his crutches to my car, over 30 minutes to go into the polling place and vote and another 10 minutes to hobble up the stairs back to his apartment and practically throw himself back onto his bed at 10:45 (after a bank trip too) in incredible pain.
He did so to vote for Donald Trump in Massachusetts a state where the presidential race was not even remotely in doubt.
The right of the common people to make their own decision about who rules them on the local, country, state and federal level has been a rare and precious thing throughout history which is why I never miss and election but there is a 2nd right that is no less precious that is exercised on election day…the right to be wrong.
That right was aptly demonstrated to me a few hours after I drove my mother to the polls in Boston at the Romney Campaign HQ “victory” part as I watched the media grow happy and the crowd grow miserable at a result that given the previous four years seemed unbelievable to me:
Apparently it’s going to have to get a lost worse before it gets better, and the people decided on the candidate who will certainly make it worse.
We conservatives will have to double our efforts to teach but the results of the next four years under Barack Obama will do that more effectively than anything else.
Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other. Get ready America you are about to have a four-year course on the joys of socialism with a president who no longer has an incentive to pretend he is anything but the radical he has always been.
And he did, ironically creating the conditions which finally caused enough Americans in enough states to cry enough four years later resulting in the Trump presidency and the prosperity that we enjoy now.
That free market of ideas, like a free market economy is self correcting and that freedom to get it wrong and to bear the results of that wrong decision is not only the best way to get things right in the long term but it is the only way to assure that we remain a free republic instead of serfs living in service to our “betters”.
A free society always gets the government, good or bad, that it deserves so no matter the result today let’s celebrate our right to hold our head up high and dance
, or to bend over and be paddled…
…secure in the knowledge that in either case, it’s the choice we have freely made for ourselves.