Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Voting pleasure

Today Naomi and I headed down to our local polling place and voted in the Texas presidential primary. There were other issues and offices on the ballot with which we were both admittedly less familiar, but the presidential primary was the main issue for which we were eager to cast our votes.

Which presidential candidate did we vote for? I'll not name names, but I will explain that our home's politics can lean pretty conservative. You can probably guess the party from that description. In both Republican and Democratic parties there are two candidates remaining. I disagree with the often championed strategy of voting for the "most electable" candidate. I instead choose to vote for the candidate, or measure, or issue that most closely approximates my ideals. A vote is one's declaration of how they believe power should be used in our society. If, by my vote, I "declare" an endorsement of a specific candidate, and then lose, I then am in an "honest minority." I declared my preference and that preference did not prevail. That is honest. I would much rather be part of an honest minority than a dishonest majority.

As a result, Naomi and I voted for a candidate that more closely approximated our political leanings than any of the others. We did so regardless of the probability of that candidate's success. Our declaration was honest. It may be in the minority, but it was honest.

We drove away from the precinct reflecting on the pleasure of voting. It's a pleasure not just because it's a relatively recent right in human history (for which we are grateful), but also because of the sense of satisfaction derived from performing one's duties as a citizen. Citizenship carries with it a certain list of responsibilities; among which are obeying laws, jury duty and voting. Military service can be included, but presently is not mandatory in the United States. Nevertheless, there is a healthy pride that comes with performing one's duties as a citizen than links the listed items. In like manner that military veterans have a healthy pride in service to country that is distinctly their's, so also should voters have a pride in their particular service. Such pride is deserved and distinct to the voter. For this reason, we also prefer to vote on the voting "day," as opposed to early voting or absentee voting. The voting day is when this aspect of citizenship is celebrated, and it's a pleasure to know we participated.

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