I did not vote in the 2008 election. I tried, but I’d been out of state all day and it took far longer than planned to get home. By the time I got to my polling place, they’d closed.
I missed it by 10 minutes. At that time I was sort of relieved. Even on my way to the polls, I hadn’t made up my mind. I didn’t like McCain, and I really, really didn’t want Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency, but I wasn’t sure that Obama was the way to go, he hadn’t convinced me.
Looking back on it now, the only reason I can come up with for my vague ambivalence was the product of the previous two elections. I’d been a firm believer that W was the wrong choice both times, and I hadn’t really cared who besides him sat in the Oval Office. “Anyone’s better than Bush” became the only rallying cry I really heard, and at that time I didn’t understand how important and relevant elections were.
And now, in less than 24 hours, polls begin to open across the country, and I am proud to say that I know who I will be voting for; and I am pleased to say that I am voting FOR a candidate rather than against one.
I have seen the passion President Obama has for our country and our citizens. I have seen some wonderful legislation passed that has started to take us in the right direction again. I have seen the faith that he has in our business people. And I have seen him finally end a war that we never should have been in. Has he been perfect? No. But it is impossible to have any person, especially a president, be perfect.
For those of you who might be undecided, and those of you who will not be voting for our President, please consider your choice.
You can choose a man who believes that all Americans deserve an equal opportunity to become great or a man who thinks you should be stuck in the life you’re born into.
You can choose a man who loves Americans and will strive to make government work for them, or a man who cares only about the top 1% and would privatize as many government programs as possible, including FEMA.
You can choose a man who believes that we all have the right to decide with our families and our doctors what medical care is right for us, or a man who has refused to take a stand against those in his party who have “misspoken” about women’s health issues.
You can choose a man who has an open mind and believes that it is not his job to keep rights from a minority, or a man who would instill his spiritual beliefs as law on people who are not of his faith.
To me, the choice is clear. Please get out and vote tomorrow. Let your voice be heard, and please remember, our children deserve to grow up in a world where they are free to make their own choices about their own bodies and lives.
A version of this essay was previously posted on the blog “On Life and Other Adventures.”