Getting Out and Voting

Ah, Election Day. The ballots. The flyers. The ageless polling station workers. Seriously, they are. It’s like the polling station is the real life Cocoon.

But we did our civic duty and voted. I didn’t vote for every office on the ballot, because frankly, I don’t think there’s a big risk if I can’t distinguish between the three people running for town dog catcher. I mean, it’s simple: you’re elected to run the department that catches dogs. Catches. Dogs. But the other office up for election like Senate and the House of Representatives? You bet I voted for those.

These elections over the past few years have been closely contested and the rhetoric has been emotionally charged. And for what? I honestly don’t know. Because you see, it’s one thing to run the campaign and another to deal with the realities of making actual decisions given the situations political leaders find themselves in. And blaming predecessors is, in my book, a cop-out. If you didn’t want the challenge, if you don’t like the situation you potentially might land into, it’s simple: don’t run.

But this isn’t a post about assessing leadership. No, this is about teaching our kids about the responsibilities of choosing our government’s leaders. Part of that is listening to what they want to do, but the other part is trying to size up who will make the better decisions, especially when they might be confronted with nothing but bad options. That’s leadership. We don’t get leadership today. We get pandering. I teach our son this, hoping that he will try and understand how you evaluate decision-making. Not just listening to the candidate that tells him what he wants to hear.

It’s a worthwhile exercise, this. Because after all, he’ll be voting someday and I want him to learn what it means to “Make every vote count.”

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