Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Doing our patriotic duty
Clever Wife and I both like voting at the polls. In the past we've had to wait over an hour to do so, but we like the patriotic experience. She comes from an old union family and I come from an old farming family and we both regard voting as both a duty and a social bonding experience.

Though we both now live in a precinct where our opinion is the majority, we both spent a large part of our grown-up lives as minority voters. That is, we both spent years going to the polls knowing we would lose, knowing that our votes wouldn't matter, yet feeling it was important to go to the polls and say, "we are here." This is the nature of democracy. In any mob ruled fascist state the majority can intimidate the majority into silence. Majority rule is not the key to a democracy; respect for the minority is. We have always known this and, thus, we have always enjoyed voting. Just as we have always enjoyed jury duty: yes we lose money, but we get to make our opinion part of our society. I suppose the rituals of democracy are less important to the rich because they have more effective ways of influencing society. To be crude, voting and serving on juries is our way of saying, "fuck you" to the rich. The populist in me likes that idea.

The polls just closed. Let's go see what happened.

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