Thursday, October 30, 2008

Noticing What Was and What Wasn't at the Poll

Today I cast my ballot in the national general election on what is an ordinary, beautiful autumn day in north Texas.

While standing in line in the hallway of a public library turned polling place, I noticed there were a few things not present:

Police
Armed Guards
Soldiers
Barbed wire
Concrete barriers
Poll tax collectors
Protesters (although I might have welcomed their presence)
Purple dyed fingers

A few things that were present:

Late teen wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt
Lone woman with a cane
Thirty-something mother and child
Retiree parking his bike (unlocked)
Man in a suit getting into a Ferrari
White people
People of color
Woman wearing a scarf over her head
Retired couple speaking Spanish

... all wearing "I Voted" stickers.

Voting is my right. Given to me because of my lucky fortune of birthplace. But, the things I saw at the voting booth were not of luck or unearned fortune. These displays of peaceful, inclusive, democratic exercise of the people were made without fear. Each were exercising their authority in the face of authority. Were the scenes born only from a birthright? No, they were argued for by largely white haired men and women in the halls of government and courthouses. They were demanded in the fires and fiery voices in the streets. And, never will I forget, they were bought with the sweaty brows and spilled blood of youth in forests, beaches, rice paddies, and deserts of lands, and waters, near and far.

Stay tuned...

7 comments:

21stCenturyMom said...

Well said!

Jumper 2.0 said...

Beautifully put!

Let's remember that it was also bought with spilled blood by great men on the streets of the USA like Martin Luther King Jr. It was men like him, that helped us realize (or begin to realize anyway) the fulfillment of the promise or our Constitution and Declaration. And it was because of men like him, that we may have a first non-white President of the US (a point of pride whether we agree with his policies or not)

Jamie said...

You are totally one of those guys that voted for Mickey Mouse. I can read you like a book TriBoomer. :-)

Jumper 2.0 said...

"It was demanded in the fires and fiery voices in the streets. "


Ooops, you already said that! Man, sometimes I just run at the mouth!

UntPawGal02 said...

Nicely said! Proudly wear your "I Voted" sticker :)

Jeremy Vaught said...

Amen

Eric said...

Excellent observation :-)