Friday, November 10, 2006

Voting

Amy and I were excited to bring Jada to the voting booth on Election
Day, to introduce her to this great aspect of a democratic society.
But the experience itself was, well, not very dramatic. We walked up
one block to the used furniture store that serves as our ward's
polling place, stood in line for less than a minute, took turns behind
the curtain, and were on our way. There was no grand soundtrack, no
balloons or streamers, no stirring lecture to Jada about how people
have fought and bled and died for the right to vote. There wasn't
even a guy in a bullhorn outside spewing partisan invective. In
short, the experience was strikingly ordinary.

It occurred to me afterwards, though, that perhaps this is what we
want Jada to experience: that voting is what we citizens do, that on
the one hand it is a very big deal but on the other hand it is no big
deal at all, that there is nothing mystical or spectacular about it.
In other words, voting is something we should, in some sense, take for
granted -- not that we are unappreciative of how unique and important
the right to vote is, but that perhaps we don't need $1 million prizes
and reality TV shows and "Rock the Vote" concerts to convince us to
vote.

Besides, it'll be a lot more fun for Amy and me to lecture Jada about
our political hot button issues and pet peeves when she's old enough
to understand them.

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