Becky Says...

October 2004

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October 30

Ordinarily, I hate standing in lines, because standing still makes my back hurt. But the one I was in today I didn't mind in the least. It and I were part of history.

I took advantage of the last day of early voting for the election. I hadn't known until last night that the polling places in the county would be open today, and I'm really glad I checked. I decided to go ahead and vote because it would be more convenient for me. It was a wonderful experience.

I didn't have anything else claiming my time. I decided that even though the line was longer than I have ever been in at a polling place, I would stay. If my back needed a break I could always sit down (it was a lovely day, and I was wearing clothes that would allow me to park myself just about anywhere).

As it turned out, the line moved steadily enough that I really wasn't doing much standing totally still. My back is just fine. The whole thing, from getting in the back of the line until I was through inserting my ballot into the box, took 56 minutes.

Part of the reason for the line's length is that for early voting not all the polling places are open. As it happens, the place where I usually vote was one of the available choices, so I went there. I'm sure there were quite a few people from other places in the county.

It was pretty obvious that everyone else in the line knew this was an important thing to be doing. I did not hear anyone complain about being there, not even the little boy there with his mother. There wasn't a lot of talking. The mood wasn't somber at all, just thoughtful.

As I stood there, I thought about why it was I wanted to vote in this election. I am nearly 51 years old. I've been voting since I was 18, which means the first presidential election I was part of was 1972. Vietnam was still going on. It was an important election, and I'm glad I had the chance to participate in it.

I'm by no means a single-issue voter. But this election, this time when I'm essentially voting on how many people young enough to be my children will have to go to Iraq yet, is the single most important election in which I have ever, ever participated. I want those children home.

I want someone leading the country who has more of an appreciation for what the hell war is than I believe our current President will ever have. I want someone who knows all too well what it's like to bury a child (the Edwards' older son was killed in a wreck a few years ago) to be ready to take over if need be.

And I want someone who I fervently believe will not use his faith as a weapon against me and the people I love to be the one swearing to me and to God next January 20 that he will uphold the Constitution of the United States. So yeah, in case you wondered, I voted for Kerry.

If you agree with me, I'm glad. Go say so on Tuesday at a polling place near you, if you haven't already voted.

And if you disagree with me as to which person would be better? It's too late to try changing my mind. But I definitely agree with you that you have a right to vote.

Text © copyright 2000-2004 Becky