“I Voted.” Small sticker, precious step

Today I’m as powerful as Sheldon Adelson, Sean Hannity, Paul Ryan, John Roberts, David Axelrod or Elizabeth Warren.

My vote counts as much as each of theirs. And as I cast my vote today my heart lifted. I could feel it. For too many months I’ve been worrying and griping and moaning and arguing and living in fear of the unthinkable. An hour ago I took action. I feel empowered.

img_5163Our country has flaws. Disparity of rich and poor. Gross overconsumption of the planet’s resources. Poor education and a paucity of hope for too many. A system designed by those who already have the most to assure they get more. And our election system is far from perfect. Voter suppression. Hanging chads. Too much influence by the wealthiest. Gerrymandered districts that permit little challenge to incumbents.

But I just cast a vote that counts the same as Barack Obama’s. And it will be counted. The regular citizens who handed me the ballot and watched me slide it in the machine are the volunteer custodians of the dream the founders dreamed. My Uncle Bob died in World War II to protect the vote I cast today. John Lewis had his skull cracked to preserve the right of all of us to not just speak up about where we’re going as a country but to put our hands on the wheel.

There was a man standing at the corner of the street that leads to our local government center where Lisa and I voted. He was showing the world a life-size picture of Hillary Clinton behind bars. I firmly believe he’ll be disappointed a week from today. And as we drove past him I felt less of the despair I’ve been feeling for months, despair that the candidate he supports might actually, how could this possibly be true, win the election. I felt less depressed because I had just taken action. I had voted. To turn away that man’s vision and to bring my own closer to the light.

In a world full of despots I stood up and said to the preposterous, self-absorbed, ignorant, immature poseur who would be president: “I banish thee. Slink back under the foul rock you crawled out from. Begone.” Little old me, a guy of scant power, wealth or influence. But a guy with a vote.

In the car, Lisa and I did a Barack-Michelle fist bump. Is this a great country or what?

— Bruce Benidt

3 thoughts on ““I Voted.” Small sticker, precious step

  1. Dennis Lang says:

    FABULOUS!
    I’ve never been a political junkie, that is until until last eleven months or so. What’s been playing out in real time is so surreal, dramatic, really unimaginable, it’s actually become emotionally disturbing. I have to mute the TV now whenever the Dem advisory (I can’t even call this moral abomination by name) is opening his mouth, he’s so gratingly anathema to any value I’ve ever been bought up with.
    Whatever anyone thinks of Hillary, or whatever their personal distress, how anyone capable of clear thought could possibly consider this person fit to be President will forever be a mystery.
    Most significant election in my lifetime.
    I’m ready.

  2. Well done and well said, Brother Benidt:

    Yes, most Trump supporters want a drastic change in the way government has been operating; we feel for them. But they have been taken in by a man who was a lifelong liberal Democrat (put aside his complete narcissism), and who really didn’t want the job of President; instead, as a business strategy, he wanted to improve his personal brand.

    Donny Deutsch, who appears on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said a couple of months ago that he has known Trump well for more than 20 years, and he (Deutsch) knows that Trump has a non-existent attention span and could not tolerate the requirements of the presidency.

    My main beef with the media and Trump’s opponents, both Republicans and Democrats, is that I have heard no one — NO ONE — confront Trump with this simple question: EXACTLY HOW would you manage to restore jobs to Americans?

    Unfortunately, Trump supporters are so disaffected that they are not convinced by the almost daily revelations of his corruption.

    All of us could go on and on, but we need to vote Clinton in and then push her administration to reach out to the Trump supporters and to help them improve their lives — so much so that they can see through the Trump game and start electing representatives who will cooperate across the aisle and solve problems. McConnell’s obstructionism has to be swept away.

    Gary

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