For all my readers who live deep within the African jungle, I would like to inform you of a fact that is hard to miss. (No really, I will be very impressed if my next sentence comes as a shock to you. Or extremely horrified. Take your pick). This year is something special, a time that only comes once every four years, with only about thirty opportunities in a person’s lifetime. Naturally I am referring to the just past elections.
Now, there are many explanations for why the 2020 elections are considered significant. One reason can be because the two leading presidential candidates, if elected (you never know when the Green or Libertarian Party will make a comeback) will be the oldest presidents in the history of our country. (Yes, even older than George Washington. That powdered white hair can throw you off, but he’s younger than he looks). (It was a rare time when young people purposely dyed their hair white). And for all those who think this election is unique because many people are voting against a candidate, rather than for a candidate, their impression is sadly amiss. That scenario took place last election, and perhaps even the election before that. Been there, done that. (If this situation took place in the elections prior to the year 2008, I apologize for not mentioning it. Obviously, I am younger than I look).
There is one main reason why this election is so special and near and dear to my heart. In short, this is the first election I have been able to take part in, namely by submitting my own personal ballot.
Now, I know that many of you are keeling over in shock. Half of you are astounded by my audacity, for assuming that my voting should be something of interest to everyone else. The other half are merely astonished that I am old enough to vote, clinging fast to sweet memories of me as a tantruming four-year-old. (That is one of the problems of living in the same place for 15 years. It can be very difficult to obliterate a bad first impression). (Contrary to popular belief, I was not always so witty and charming as a young adolescent).
For the latter reaction, there is nothing more to do than to grimace and nod, pretending to be fascinated by the fact that I used to be a six-year-old. You could have fooled me. However, in order to save my self-respect, I will have to explain to the first group why the fact I voted is of such monumental importance.
No one will be surprised to hear that I am ecstatic over voting. After all, I am the eccentric in my family who squeals with joy at the sight of an unknown phone number, in hope that it may be a pollster who wishes to seek my personal opinion. (It is not enough that I share my viewpoint on everything under the sun in my articles. I also must express my outlooks to random strangers who call during dinner time to ensure that there are people in the world who recognize the name Eric Johnson). (He is the mayor of Dallas; in case anyone is curious).
Nonetheless, I do have the necessary social skills to understand that it does not make the slightest difference to any of you that I voted. After all, with the millions of residents in Dallas alone, not to mention in the entire state of Texas, how would my vote radically affect your life? The cynical view would assume it does not – that since there are so many of us, the decisions we make do not matter. However, that is an erroneous perspective. We are given a a priceless gift – the right to vote for the candidate of our choice. Whether we vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Whig, etc, the crucial element is that we take advantage of the chance our country gives us to take part in its democracy.
My vote may not be personally important to you. However, it is important to me, because it shows that I am appreciative to my country, that I am doing my utmost to make this country safe for us all. It is imperative to partake in these elections. After all, how can we complain about the policies the politicians enact if we do not put in our two cents? (Something which we as Jews are very good at. It is scary how many times I have witnessed the amount of opinions outnumber the quantity of people present in the room). Let us be proactive in our quest for justice and liberty – by casting our ballots.