Today, for the first time, I’ve done my civic duty
It may surprise some that this year is the first time I’ve ever voted. This year has been a huge awakening for me, and I have several people to thank for that. I’ve always been an opinionated bastard, but up until now, have lacked the conviction to do anything about it. A thick pall of defeatism, mixed with an ignorance of the process didn’t help either.
Those that do their civic duty every year wonder why folks like me never voted, well here it is: ignorance, defeatism, and cynicism. This year, I’ve spent at least a couple hours a day studying the midterm elections, the process, and the candidates. I feel immensely satisfied with how my vote went, and incredibly stupid for not having done it before. While that can’t be changed, it can be corrected by continuing to stay informed, continuing to put my thoughts up here at M-BA, and continuing to learn.
You may wonder what brought on this change in such a short time? Well, I have one daughter and a second on the way. I do everything I can to make their lives better. Like any parent, sometimes I do well, sometimes I fail. Now, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but I had the thought that I had completely failed in trying to give my daughters a state and a country that they could be proud to call home. What if they decide that open government is important and I failed to fight for it? A clean environment and renewable energy? What if I neglected to fight inequality for gays with my vote and my voice and that affects their future? Without the conviction to do my civic duty, all of my opinions about how the world is run are for naught. A completely worthless intellectual exercise. I saw that failure, and I worked to correct it, with the help some great folks.
So, here’s who I’d like to thank for helping to reform a former slacker:
My Lovely Wife – For supporting the time I’ve put into this and reading what I have to day
Dana Garrett – for making every speck of information available and his passion for bringing it to light
Mike Matthews – for showing that politics and learning about it can be fun and worthwhile
Jason of Delaware Liberal – even though I haven’t learned his last name yet, Jason taught me that partisanship can be a noble thing when the partisan can see past the party flag and work to remedy the problems in the party
Most Importantly, Tyler Patrick Nixon – Tyler inspired me to keep my new-found conviction by accepting my offer to volunteer, spending more time than I’m sure he had in discussion with me about different topics, answering my stupid questions, and being the antithesis of everything my cynicism told me politics was about. If I hadn’t met Tyler, I never would have guessed that there were candidates who want to work for and with the people, and represented everything that we need in a public servant. Volunteering for and finding a friend like Tyler has made a huge difference in how I see government can be something worth fighting for.
Of course, I also want to thank you, who read this little rag. Start commenting, and you’ll be in up there in the blockquotes next time! 😉
One last thing, I want to mention the little thrill I felt this morning, the first time I ever heard, “Joseph Madjeski voting!” How awesome was that?