I went to great lengths to remember the slogan used by the likes of P. Diddy and Total Request Live back in 2004 to get young people to hit the booths. Mostly I didn’t want some preachy or self-righteously patriotic title for this post, but also that had been bugging me for days. Two birds.
I voted today. That’s that.
Of grand speeches and oaths of loyalty and nationalistic passion I have little to offer. On the bright side, I did notice some strange things about America during my first non-absentee voting excursion…
Maybe my experience was biased for being at an elementary school, but there were a LOT of kids in attendance! I mean, that’s weird, right? It’s weird. When I was a kid, we maybe did some sort of cheesy mock ballot in class, but my parents certainly never campaigned to bring us into the booth with them, and we certainly never asked. Again, some bias inclusive for having only one parent a U.S. citizen, but I feel sure that was not a thing. On the one hand I guess I approve of parents trying to instill an interest and respect for democracy, but at the same time I don’t think this accomplishes that. How is watching one’s parent press a few buttons inside a curtain meant to teach them the importance of voting for president? To a kid it’s just like the most boring video game ever. Better to take them home and watch election coverage together, no? What do we think about this?
Also, and this one sounds bad, but you know you thought it too (if you voted in person): I’m not sure I really want some of these people voting. Yeah, the point of democracy is that we all have a say, and that includes the woman who asked me what 40% off $100 would be at work last week. But, to wit: While waiting in line to sign in, my dad and I stood in the A-K line. Few people seemed to discern the binary nature of the line, and when one of the volunteers availed them of it by asking if anyone’s last name started with L-Z, the woman behind me said “S?” and then didn’t get in the line anyway. Such behavior doesn’t bode well.
And finally, I must impart my favorite piece of presidential trivia for the day. According to my father, James A. Garfield was ambidextrous. Which is pretty cool. But not only could he write with both hands; he could do it at the SAME TIME. And not only could Garfield write with both hands at once, but he could write TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. AND, he could write something in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other. Allegedly. But still. Somebody greenlight a biopic; it already sounds better than J. Edgar.
Now go vote. And when you do, say what my dad and I said to my mom on our way out the door: “Us AMERICANS are off to vote!” Feel free to throw in a neener neener.