November 5, 2002
BEGIN THE WORLD OVER AGAIN--A BROTHERS JUDD PSA:
If I could beg your indulgence for one moment, I'd just like to urge everyone to go to the polls today and vote, regardless of whom you'll vote for. We'd, of course, prefer that you vote a straight GOP line, but even if you're headed out to vote for Barney Frank and Shannon O'Brien, find time to do so.
I bitterly recall Election Day ten years ago. The wife was in Med School, so we were living in Chicago--my one experience as a true urbanite. In our district the three winners at the top of the ticket were Bill Clinton (President), Carol Mosely Braun (Senator) and Dan Rostenkowski (House). I left the polling place knowing that the three criminals I'd just voted against were going to win anyway. It was horribly depressing.
Today, I'll go to polls and vote for Craig Benson (Governor), John Sununu (Senate), Charlie Bass (House), Ray Benson (Executive Council), and Nancy Merrill (State Senate) and all are going to win, most by prohibitive margins. It will be quite wonderful.
There's a sense in which neither set of votes will have mattered. In Illinois in '92, the crooks won in spite of , and in NH in '02 the Republicans will win regardless of, my votes. But I cherish both opportunities.
If you do go vote, take a minute when you're in the booth and look around and say to yourself: "This is something that binds me to my nation's past. An uninterrupted chain of Americans has gone to the polls every two years for centuries now and decided who will govern us. We've chosen wisely and we've chosen badly, but it has been we who have chosen." Think about how rare a privilege this is and how many people in other nations wish they could be where you are. These days are great moments in the life of our people, even on those days when we make disastrous choices. Don't just endure a civic duty; enjoy a process that vindicates the vision that one of our greatest vote-getters enunciated so well:
I have always believed that this land was placed here between the two great oceans by some divine plan. It was placed here to be found by a special kind of people--people who had a special love for freedom and who had the courage to uproot themselves and leave hearth and homeland and come to what in the beginning was the most undeveloped wilderness possible. We spoke a multitude of tongues--landed on this eastern shore and then went out over the mountains and the prairies and the deserts and the far Western mountains of the Pacific, building cities and towns and farms and schools and churches.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2002 9:30 AM
If wind, water or fire destroyed them, we built them again. And in so doing at the same time we built a new breed of human called an American--a proud, an independent and a most compassionate individual for the most part. Two hundred years ago Tom Pa ine, when the thirteen tiny colonies were trying to become a nation, said we have it in our power to begin the world over again. . . . Together we can begin the world over again. We can meet our destiny and that destiny can build a land here that will be for all mankind a shining city on a hill. I think we ought to get at it.
At least you got to vote against Rosty et al. In my district in Mass. a majority of the offices have only one candidate, including Congress. Others have only Libertarian or Independent or Green opposition.
I'm in Ma., too, and I have the same situation--no Republican running for Senate, no Republican running for the House, no Republican running for Attorney General, no Republican running for either state chamber, etc., etc., etc.
I did enjoy voting, though. Among other things, I got to vote to end the state income tax. No day is wasted if you get to vote against the income tax.
the state income tax proposition will drive the conservatives out, even though the only other vote is for Romney. This is a good thing.
Took the 8 month old with me, though I couldn't wangle a second ballot. Interesting sleeper vote here is a ballot question for a constitutional convention.
It's been 25 years of frustration for us, so we North Side outliers must take our pleasures where we can find them. Two recent ones: giving a thumbs up to the Gore guy distributing literature at the precinct whose smile quickly faded when we said, "Unhuh, Bush!" and a quick exchange with Rahm Emmanuel about getting fleas when you lie down with the dogs. It ain't much but it's all we got.
I think your site it great! It is a must read for me. Keep up the good work.
Here's a message from a Miami-Dade voter:
"I live in south Florida had a terrible time trying to vote in 2000...I went to the polling place indicated on the mailer I received from the County Clerk and ended up having to go to 4 polling places before I found the one where I was on the books...and it was the farthest of the 4 from my house.
But, when I voted this morning, instead of punchcard ballots, Miami-Dade now has touch screen voting machines. It's as easy (if not easier) to use than an ATM. There was a practice machine with a guy giving lessons and plenty of printed instruction materials in English, Spanish and Creole. In fact, the first screen you see allows you to choose one of those languages.
There were many more poll volunteers and the whole thing was definitely more organized than when I voted in 2000. "
I went out today and voted for Doug Forrester and 3 other Republicans who are not going to win. It felt wonderful!
I voted last week, as I am usually pretty busy
on election day itself.
There isn't much difference between the
parties or any pair of candidates on issues
(though some candidates have considerably
higher character than their opponents).
My problem was the county charter amendments.
There are 13 this time, only one of which is
important. However, it is absolutely vital, and
if the voters choose wrong, it will be a social
and economic disaster.
In fact, there are competing amendments --
9 and 9A -- and you can vote aye for both,
or no for both, if you want.
Do I think voters will dope that out and come
to a reasonable conclusion? No.
There can be too much of a good thing.
I think that you're missing a key point. Our voting system isn't designed to be good, it's designed to avoid or ameloriate bad. Yes, voters frequently do stupid things and about as frequently as any other form of government. What's different here is that mistakes are easier to fix
. It's not about doing right, it's about recovering from error. Because Man is fallen, the best systems are not those that try for perfection but those provide for redemption.
I'm all for voting -- early and often, as Walt Kelly used to say.
And I think the people get it right, in the long run, most of the time -- in this society. Self-government is the hardest of human accomplishments to learn.
What bugs me this year is making a ballot difficult. What kind of moron devised a system where you can simultaneously vote to make the water dept. independent and to put it under control of the mayor?
This is about the stupidest ballot measure I have ever seen. It would be a funny if it were like the other 11 charter amendments, which are of no real consequence. But this one, if chosen the wrong way, will wreck the county.
Looks like your state kept its brain intact, based on every race I can find (congratulations), and mine is (cross my heart) actually starting to wake up and smell the Clinton. Chambliss is -- I'm having trouble believing this -- thrashing that snake Cleland, and I think maybe I'm about to have a new Governor.
You're right; it does feel wonderful.
And I let the six month old do the screen-pushing for me. :)