11.08.2016

Breaking My Political Silence

Growing up, Election Day was like Christmas for my family. We'd gather around the TV with a blank map of the U.S. and color each state red or blue as the "politi-guys" (a term I still use as a grown adult) projected the winner of the Presidential election. The recount of 2000 -- oh man. Big times in our household.

Hanging chad, anyone?
But those were happier times. Times when I never would have dreamed up an election cycle like this one. I've watched the light go out that I once saw in my father's eyes at the prospect of selecting a new Commander in Chief. I've glazed over the politically charged posts and articles that have been cluttering every corner of the Internet with he said/she said. America is tired; so very tired.

I voted today, but with a different outlook than any other time I've fulfilled my civic right.

I filled in a circle on the first race listed on the ticket, and I'll admit I wasn't thrilled about it. But I also filled in 16 other circles; that's 16 other people who will have a say in the way our government operates. Social media, the news, and popular opinion tell me that just one of those races matters. But you know what? Our country wasn't built on the opinions of any one person, and that's still true today.

Now I know the Dallas County Sheriff isn't going to send our troops off to war. I know no one in the 195th District Court will be the face the world identifies with this nation. I know the Railroad Commissioner isn't going to play any sort of role in selecting the next Supreme Court Justice. In fact, if you asked me, "So Becky, what DOES the Railroad Commissioner do?" My answer would be, "You know... um... something with the railroad." It's a similar story for the rest of these people whose names I hadn't heard of prior to this morning. I may not know exactly HOW each of them will operate in conjunction with our government, but I know they are going to be a part of the future of our government and democracy -- even if it's on a small scale. So I took the time to care about the people they are and what they stand for.

Why yes I did buy new shoes specifically to wear on Election Day
This morning, I sat down at my computer and I got to know the other people who want to represent myself, my city, my state and my country. And when I went to the polls, I didn't randomly select people because I liked the sound of their name or because they had a "D" or an "R" (which was pretty much my strategy prior to today). I colored in those circles because I knew who I was voting for.

So to all of you running for an office other than President of the United States, thank you. I mean, I'll probably forget your name tomorrow and I probably won't keep tabs on what you do if you're elected. But I'm glad you exist, and I hope you do your job well. Because there ARE other people in this fight.

And thank goodness for that.