Lessons from the 1940s – Vote!

How many of you will be glad to see the election season come to an end? I will. I’m sick of the deluge of phone calls and junk mail and spam, of the obscene quantities of money spent, of anger and snark masquerading as debate, of cheesy smiles and perfectly coiffed heads.

It beats the alternative.

While the United States has been spoiled by over two hundred years of democracy, in the grand scope of human history, democracy is still new and revolutionary. Historically, monarchies are the norm. The lives of ordinary people were dictated by one individual who received that position by accident of birth – or by murder and intrigue. Even now, dictators and extremists rule by fear and terror, and ordinary people keep their mouths shut – or else.

During the World War II era, the world was threatened by cruel dictatorships – so threatened that the Communist USSR made a worthy ally of the democracies. We forget how close we came to losing our freedom.

In the United States we have the freedom of speech, topped by the amazing freedom to vote. Next week you and I can enter a booth and tell our elected officials exactly how we feel without fear of a midnight knock on the door. Don’t take that privilege lightly. Do your research and make informed choices, not based solely on party. And don’t take that privilege for granted – make the time and cast your vote.

See you in the voting booth!