Thursday, November 06, 2008

Count It

It's tough to lose when so many in your political party are celebrating, congratulating each other and jockeying for that new job sure to be headed their way. It's tough. It's tough.

Every big election year a few people always tell me that they don't plan to vote. They're convinced that with so many millions of votes weighted in some antiquated electoral college of silliness, they just don't see the need. They don't see the point of a drop in the bucket.

Sure I could get all holier-than-thou with them. Tell them that it's their duty. Shame them with the "if you don't vote than you can't complain" argument. Explain that their vote is the true seed and the conclusive victory of democracy.

But this year I saw something new. Sure I'm all for "from many, One." But I also saw something amazing happen. I watched ordinary people with sons and daughters and comfortable jobs and decent homes put it all on the line for what they believed. They stood up and said “we can do better.” And they didn’t just complain about the problem, throw money at it or scribble a line in a ballot. They gathered their friends and family together, they filed the paper work, they hit the streets and they ran for offices as big as senator and as small as school boards.

Some won and some lost. Some did it for all the right reasons and some did it for the wrong ones. But what’s truly amazing about our system and about this country is that anyone and I mean ANYONE can make a go of it. Maybe not for president. Maybe not for senator. But for a position somewhere that they can do some good.

It’s tough to lose. But it’s even tougher to stand up ten months ago and say, “I’m ready. I'm ready to put it all on the line for the chance to make it better. I'm ready to fight.”


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