Please vote.November 6, 2012
Well, it’s finally Election Day. After 17 months of campaigning and as much as $6 billion spent, we’ve reached the decision point. It’s time to pick the President, folks, and the stakes couldn’t be much higher. From the economy to foreign policy to a populace that’s bitterly divided over social issues, the President we elect today will have to address some of the greatest challenges our nation has ever faced. There are two very distinct paths before us, and the candidate we choose will likely take us far enough down one of those paths that it will be all but impossible for us to return and take the other four years from now.
Living in Virginia, commonly regarded as one of the “battleground” states (a term that I hate, incidentally – it’s not right for the peaceful election of our President to be characterized as a battle), my neighbors and I have reason to think that our individual votes carry real weight this year. We’ve joked about cancelling each other out, but no one has suggested in my hearing that they’ll just stay home and wait for the outcome. I was heartened to see a long line at the polls this morning and happy to wait more than an hour to cast my ballot, even though many of the people there were waiting to vote for my candidate’s opponent.
Because, no matter what my political leanings or preferences for the outcome of this election might be, this is one choice that the American people have to make together. We’ve all heard the nightmare scenarios about waking up tomorrow morning to discover that both of the candidates have 269 electoral votes or, worse, that there’s been a major problem with balloting in one or more states and that the outcome won’t be known for days or weeks. Personally, I’m most concerned that we’ll end up with one candiate winning the Electoral College and the other the popular vote. Our society is already rapidly separating into two hostile camps. If it’s widely perceived that the President took office through a procedural technicality rather than the will of the people, that separation can only accelerate.
So, regardless of your politics, please cast your vote in today’s election. I might not like your choice, but I think it’s critically important that you make it. May the people’s will prevail.
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