Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I just got back from voting. Expecting an incredibly long line similar to the Presidential Election four years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see a short, more manageable line. The temps were rather chilly this morning (I think it was just at 39 degrees when I got out of the car) so I was thankful I wouldn't be standing out in the cold for too long. I'd brought the new John Grisham novel I started this weekend, but left it in the car, knowing I'd not become that restless in this line.
Kudos to all you early bird voters who start your day by making your voice officially heard but I wasn't going to get up at o'dark thirty this morning when I could sleep in a bit, so I'd decided to go around eleven to beat the lunch bunch. It wasn't long before I noticed a trend. There was a significant number of older citizens coming and going. Lots of canes and walkers and sensible shoes. One lady had this nifty little device that she was using as a cane but it was actually a fold up three legged seat in case she had to wait longer in line than she could stand. I heard very little complaining. This generation gets how important the right to vote is and they were mostly all smiling and many called out to greet others they knew from their neighborhood or church community. Two gentlemen who were both wearing their Navy hats greeted one another as fellow seamen and thanked each other for their service to our country. It was a heartwarming, slice of "this is America" that I loved watching unroll before my eyes.
Then there were the young mothers. Any of us who raised children can remember those days when it was a major feat to get an infant and a toddler out the door for anything - errands, grocery shopping, visiting a friend. But I took note of several young Moms, most with a toddler by the hand and an infant hanging from a crooked elbow in a car seat/carrier. Ugh, my back hurts just remember hauling one of those things around! (The carrier, not the child!!) It would clang into your legs or the legs of the person you pass or the door you tried to gracefully pass through or the toddler clinging to your kneecaps. Remember Moms? But these young mothers made that extra effort to bundle everyone up on this chilly PA day so they could vote.
So they could model for their children how important it is to not take voting for granted.
So when they are older they could talk with them about the people in other countries who might dream of a land where voting isn't dangerous or rigged or only for certain portions of the population.
So when their children complain about having to study for a history test, they could remind them of those who gave their lives so we could live in a free country.
Yes, we've probably all moaned and groaned about what 'the other candidate' will do if he wins this election. Yes, there are plenty of legitimate concerns about the condition of our beloved United States of America.
Yes, this is going to be an extremely close Presidential race and half of the country is going to be upset and distressed that their candidate of choice lost, deciding that the country is now going to head in an even worse downward spiral.
The up side is that we still live in a republic where we have a voice, the opportunity to exercise our freedom and vote. There were free citizens using walkers and canes and the helping hand of a neighbor or friend to make their voice heard. There were weary young mothers who loaded up the mini van in the hopes of seeing a better tomorrow for their children.
Will it be better? Only time will tell. But that slice of America at the polls today reminded me that while our positions and preferences and politics will vary, we still treasure our freedom and value the liberty we enjoy. Now we sit back and wait for the results. Only God knows at this point who our next President will be.
Thankfully no matter who that is and what the next four years will bring, He will still be the King of Kings.