Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voting and Things

November 8, election day 2016, also marks a full 2 months since my dad died. Is it really only such a short span of time? It seems at once to be forever ago and also impossible that it ever happened.

I so wish my dad was still here so he could cast his vote this election. He was a lifelong Republican, the old-school kind of conservative. But this year, he had planned to vote for Hillary. He and my mom both.

My parents took/take voting seriously. They never missed any election, even if it was a tiny county seat or school board position. And this is saying a lot, because during the years we lived at Wind Cave, they had to drive about 45 minutes to their polling place--one way. And if you remember the years before climate change took hold, it was often snowy and blustery this time of year. Not to mention that about half the trip was on a dirt road.

They set a great example of the importance of each person's vote. Ever since I have been old enough to vote, I, too, have never missed an opportunity to exercise my voice. I have it lucky--my polling place is the elementary school my kids attended, just a few blocks from my house. The lines are never long, it's easy to get to, and everyone is friendly and often people I know.

So this year, I'm dedicating my vote to my dad. He and I never agreed on politics, until this presidential election. (I can't say we really even agree on politics, but we do agree that Trump is a "jackass" and as my mom says, "I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher.") And to my mom, whose entire life has changed by virtue of her husband of 67 years dying, her move to an entirely new place, and adjusting to living in an apartment building with other old people and having some of her freedoms and independence disappear. Still, on this election, she plans to board the assisted living shuttle that will take her to her new polling place and cast her vote for Hillary.

I hope everyone will vote. I live in Idaho, where my liberal democratic vote will never make a difference in the outcome of a national election. We are one of the reddest states in the nation. But who knows? Things change. We did once upon a time have a democrat for governor. I am proud to live in a state legislative district that is quite liberal. And Boise did have the largest democratic caucus on record this year. But I vote because my voice is important, even if it won't change the fact of Idaho's politics. I don't take it lightly, because every outcome is important.

No excuses, people. Honor the giants who have gone before us to secure our rights to choose our own government.