Thanksgiving Day 6: My Right to Vote

I votedAs I think almost everyone in the world knows, today is election day in America. I am so grateful that I am a citizen of a country where I can let my voice be heard and be a part of choosing new leaders. Even if I don’t always agree with who the senator, governor, councilman or president is I can still be a part of the process of choosing that person.

While in China I did an exercise with my students where we talked about what laws and rights we would have if we set up our own colonies. We talked about guns, marriage, life, etc. And in each class the right to vote was brought up. In China they don’t have that right. They can’t give that input into who they’re leaders are. In fact, this very week the Communist Party of China is in the middle of its once-a-decade change of power that is completely controlled by the party with so many closed-door meetings.

Unfortunately, my country is getting more and more divided. Now that hundreds of millions have cast their ballots and the media is giving their projections and declaring winners there is a bigger and bigger dividing wall going up with people bragging that their candidate won and others who are foretelling doom and gloom.

I hope and pray that whoever is officially declared the winner of this race and is sworn into office on January 20, 2013 looks at the numbers and realizes that he won by a small margin that they need to take into consideration the hundreds of millions of people who did not vote for him into his policy and leadership. Just because one person and unfortunately that means party wins doesn’t mean they should do whatever the heck they want and disregard the other citizens who exercised their right to vote for someone different.

I am grateful that I could vote today. I voted not just for president but for a senator, representative, sheriff, councilmen/women, judges, state constitutional amendments and propositions. Now that elections are coming to an end and newbies or incumbents will be starting a new term, we should exercise respect to support those people in office. Let’s not just bash and tear down each other but honor and respect the position and help those people do their best. Maybe if we all work together something good can happen that’s not as bad as it would have been had we not been a part of it. Let’s not let our voting be the only civic participation we exercise.

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