Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted today

It felt good to be up early and make it to the polls before they opened. I had hoped to be among of the first ones there, but that was not the case as I was behind 50 to 60 people at five of six this morning. It went smoothly and forty minutes later I was on my way to work.

The right to vote is something I am proud to have. Some places in the world that right is restricted or non-existent.

Yet, with the climate of fear that has overwhelmed the country in the past few years; the outright voter fraud in Ohio, Florida & other places, I seriously wonder whether my vote matters.

You are told that every vote counts and it is your constitutional right to vote your elected leaders in and out of office. You wonder if your vote holds any weight when you hear of the special interest groups and lobbyists in Washington D.C. gaining more power by the year.

You see a scandal arise with a politician and a new one comes to take their place. Meet the new boss- same as the old boss is often what you get.

We live in a democracy. We are told that from the time we start school and it is pounded in our head every time there is an election at any level. Sometimes, I do not feel like all these freedoms we are told we have are really there. They are there conceptually and we enjoy the ease of movement because of them, but it seems as though the range of movement gets smaller and smaller with time.

I used to feel more patriotic as a teenager and that was mostly due to not knowing enough nor understanding the rather smallish bit that I did know. My early twenties came and apathy set in as I was too busy living my life. When I hit 27 or 28, I finally started to see the larger picture and realized that I did not even begin to dominate the frame anymore. Of course when 09/11 hit, everyone became instant patriots, defenders of freedom and ass-kickers (in mind only unless you were like Pat Tillman and signed up).

The aftermath that resulted from the devastation at Ground Zero was much larger than the monstrous hole in the ground you saw on television for weeks at a time. Our elected leaders seized upon our patriotism & fear to pass unconscionable legislation like the Patriot Act. Others wanted to “Get Their War On” by starting a pre-planned invasion of a country that had nothing to do with the hijackings. Can you smell war profiteering? You certainly can now.

Five years later we can judge ourselves to be no safer than we were when the attack happened.

Our so called democracy has taken hit after hit from our current leaders.

We lose credibility everyday in the eyes of the citizens of the world.

Our freedoms are eroding due to profit, power & greed.

We are more apathetic and hopeless…

Yet, I voted today because


I still have hope.

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