Did I mention that you should vote? You really should vote. If you haven't voted already, you still can vote. There is early voting going on currently, so you can vote early, or you can wait until Election Day and vote then. Election Day is November 3, if you were going to save that vote, but don't hold onto your vote too long because not voting really isn't a good idea.
A very good friend of mine got me to vote for the first time when I was in college. I had already skipped a presidential race, and she noticed that for all the bellyaching I was doing about how things were. That didn't seem right to her. She correctly pointed out that I had a voice and I should use if for something besides complaining. As a matter of fact, she continued, it would give your bellyaching more credence if I was an active participant in the system for which I had such incredible disdain.
Fast forward a few decades and I can proudly say that I have participated in every election since: local, midterm, presidential. I voted. And, if you've spent anytime in this corner of Al Gore's Internet, you may have noticed that I haven't stopped bellyaching either.
It is pretty wonderful to see how many places I see that word being flashed around these days. Vote. Not bellyaching. It's on T-shirts. It's on badges, posters, stickers and public service announcements starring many of our favorite celebrities. Some of them are getting naked to make sure that you vote. I saw hastily scrawled graffiti on a wall. One word. You know what it was.
This is the part where I tell you about how many people can vote, which is a lot, and how many actually do, which is not so much. It would be great if they were the same number? I have suggested here before that you should vote as if your life depended on it, because in this election that could turn out to be more than just hyperbole. Health care isn't something that just all of a sudden popped up. Climate change has been around for quite a while. We're going into our fourth century of systematic racial oppression here in the Untied States. There is something for everyone to vote for in this one. And while you're at it, you could go ahead and pick your favorite city council candidate or decide where your local tax dollars will go. Voting can be very empowering.
And, let's face it, it can also be a bit of a letdown. I voted for Michael Dukakis. I voted for the guy who invented the Internet. But I also voted for bond measures to help fund our school district. Voting can be a real mixed bag, but it's still better than not having a bag at all.