When my daughter, Ashley was in fourth grade she made her first run for office. She had decided to run against Christian Meyer for class student council representative. It was a very big deal in our household.
She spent all week writing her speech and practicing it in front of her bathroom mirror. A tremendous amount of thought was put in to how she could really help out the students she would represent and Grantline Elementary issues were discussed around our kitchen table every evening.
On election day I waited patiently in the car line until she jumped in. I couldn't tell by the look on her face if she had won or lost so I tried to bring the subject up gently.
"So how was it?" I inquired.
"Good! Christian won." she replied.
"Oh honey I am sorry. I bet it was really close." I said with my heart breaking for her.
"Not really, I think everyone voted for him." she said.
"Well honey not everyone voted for him I am sure you didn't. "
"Oh yeah Mom I voted for him too." she said proudly.
"Why in the world didn't you vote for yourself" I asked somewhat shocked.
"Mom I had to vote for him. He had a better speech and better ideas." she said matter of factly.
I was proud of my beautiful caring daughter that day and still proud when all the 2012 election coverage reminded me that 2002 Grantline election.
Why can't we all be selfless enough to just vote for the best person? Does it really matter whether or not they are Democrat or Republican? Do any of us really contemplate why we are voting they way we are voting or do we just vote because we want our party to win? Are we voting because our family has always backed a certain party?
Do we really listen to the speeches like Ashley did and would we have to courage to stand up and say that we voted for the other party because we felt they would do a better job?
Do you talk to your kids about why the Obama or Romney signs are in your yard? Could you really explain it if you did?
We can't keep complaining about our country and our politicians because we are the ones giving them the power. I would bet most of us spend more time researching which cell phone we want to buy than we do the records and policies of our presidential candidates.
So I urge you to be like Ashley. When you go to vote , vote for the person you feel will do the best for our country not just the one that belongs to your chosen party. Vote because you know what they stand for and what their plans are. Vote like this is one of the most important decisions of your life and do so with conviction.
Most importantly, vote. Exercise your most precious privilege with pride backed by knowledge. There is no room for apathy or ignorance on election day.