Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have a very good friend who is a political junky. She volunteers and makes phone calls and loves the whole process of elections. In fact, she's one of the top volunteers in our area for her party. Because her phone number is unlisted, she doesn’t get the recorded messages and misses them. She loves watching the ads on television and reading the print pieces from all the candidates. The media frenzy fascinates her. She never gets annoyed with it or tired of it.

Needless to say, this is her favorite day of the year.

My response to this media frenzy is different. In the past two weeks, our house has received a number of recorded phone calls from many different candidates. Ohio is a hot state this election, so the activity here has been intense. While intellectually I know that the recorded calls work (no candidate would pay for them if they didn’t!), they don’t work on me because I don’t listen. Yesterday, I was in the bathroom when the phone rang. I rushed to answer (you’ve all done this, haven’t you?) and it was a RECORDED political message. Grrrr.

When Newt Gingrich called my house this weekend, I hung up on him. Putting aside the entire issue of politics, hanging up on Newt was deeply satisfying. I don’t care how famous he is, he doesn’t have the right to bother me in my own home. Click. Score one for the housewife!

We don’t watch network television anymore, so we didn’t see the nasty televised ads. But I’d be tired of them if we had been watching.

I am NOT, however, tired of living in a country that regularly allows me to fill little circles on a ballot and register my opinion. On Election Day, I feel like the luckiest woman alive. I bounce happily into my polling place, full of smiles and kind words to the poll volunteers, take my ballot, go to my little cubicle, and VOTE! I’d squeal with joy if it wouldn’t distract other people.

My political junky friend and I both share this deep and abiding passion for the exercise of democracy. We don’t understand people who don’t make time to vote, who don’t exercise a right that our country’s founders fought to give us, who don’t see the point in doing something that millions of people alive today in less fortunate countries desperately want to do and can't.

Those people, the oppressed and silent masses whose voices are not heard in their own lands…I think of them on Election Day.

For my American readers, if you already voted, I thank you. If you haven’t and aren’t planning to, I urge you to get off your butt and just do it. I don’t care who you vote for, what issues you support or oppose, or what party you identify with.

You can vote.

And that makes you the luckiest human alive.


  1. I travel a lot and when you visit countries where you take your life in your hands to vote, you realize how luck we are here. No one getting killed or bombs going off at the polling places to stop the election.

  2. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your experience!

  3. I second your comments and emotions Susan. Here in the UK I can be quite outspoken about the people who are too lazy to vote. Politics affects every part of our daily lives and we need to let the politicians know how we feel. I jus can't be doing with all the electioneering, constant specualation by journalists, etc beforehand.

  4. Here in Missouri, and the county I live in, we had a really big voter turn out this election. Several hotly contested local races as well as statewide issues brought more people out I think. Although I am not going to miss all the negative campaigning, I am thankful we have a choice and can exercise the right to choose.

  5. I am in Missouri too, and I agree with what Bev has said, and you too, Susan. And I greatly resent the phone calls, ads on radio, on TV, and billboards everywhere. I think that I would not be so resentful if our candidates would stop the bashing and criticizing each other and simply state fact of their own campaigns. In fact, I'd love to see it illegal to mention any other parties name in advertisements. I'm so thankful to have the right to vote, I did, indeed, get and proudly wear my little sticker, but I am SO glad that today is behind us! Hugs! P.S. I hung up on Newt too!

  6. Thanks for the insight into part of the American political system, ads and all (we have all that too). Here in Australia, voting is compulsory and when I hear people complaining about this I remind them that there are people who would kill for the vote. Completely agree with your sentiment Susan.

  7. I quite agree too. And those that don't vote give up their "right" to complain if they don't like what's going on in their country!

  8. Ahh, Janet, those non-voters tend to be the loudest complainers!

    Although I'm complaining today, too. Our school levy failed again, and it's devastating! At least I voted.

  9. Did you know that in Australia it is illegal NOT to vote.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!