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View From the Hill: Go Vote!!

By Grace Boatright, National Grange Legislative Director (View From The Hill Blog 11/6/12)

  NOVEMBER 6, 2012 --

It's here. It's finally here. After what seems like a decade of political ads, televised debates and an avalanche of news articles, the 2012 Presidential Election is now upon us. If you haven't already voted, you need to do so as soon as possible. Voting times vary by state, but most states close their polls around 7 or 8pm. Election results are usually announced soon after that...unless of course you were talking about the 2000 Presidential Election.

Actually, election night of 2000 was especially memorable to me. My mother, who's a professional vocalist for a 1940's swing orchestra, was driving back from a gig when she first hit a deer with her car and then about an hour later hit a dog as well. I wasn't with her, but I can just see my mother dressed in her formal, puffy ball gown getting out of the car to check on both of these poor dying animals. She doesn't handle blood and guts very well either, so I'm sure the screams could be heard for miles. Anyway, that's not relevant at all, so let's just say that it was quite a night and one that stretched out until January.

I hope everyone voted today because this right is absolutely paramount to conducting a free society. If citizens of any nation are not allowed to vote in free elections, void of any government manipulation, then they are not living in a democracy. According to the Nobel Foundation, 191 of the recognized 195 countries in the world claim to be democracies. Saudi Arabia, Vatican City, Burma, and Brunei are the only ones who do not claim to be such. That means that Cuba, Iraq, and all of those other countries who seem to be in constant states of turmoil and conflict all claim that their citizens dwell in a free, happy society. Of course, we know that isn't true in many cases and we as Americans are so blessed to have this wonderful gift.

I call it a gift because, in all reality, if you are an American reading this blog then you absolutely did not earn your freedom. It was given to you by the millions of men and women who fought bravely and died throughout the various wars and conflicts in our history. Their sacrifice was necessary to fight off the mounting pressure of government tyranny and conflict, which is still all around us, we're just too naive to know it sometimes.

People need to wake up and realize that government as an institution is corrupt and self-serving. We have seen this through thousands and thousands of years of history. Nearly every empire, from the Greeks to the Romans to every one before and after that, has fallen because of their own greed and corruption. Democracy is the only hope for any nation hoping to permeate through the generations and America still stands as the shining example of this truth. Even despite all of our problems (and we've got plenty of them), the United States is still a nation of free people who come and go as they please and are free to pursue that which makes them happy. We exercised this very principle today when we cast a ballot for the man or woman we feel is best qualified to lead us and maintain these liberties I've just mentioned.

You need to vote. Plain and simple. For the average citizen, voting is the best way to influence government and ensure that your opinion is taken into account. REMEMBER: if you didn't vote then don't bother complaining. Voting is a right that was given to you at a price and it wasn't cheap- so get out there and use it!

I hope everyone enjoys their evening. I'll be home watching the election results and getting ready for our National Grange Session coming up next week. That reminds me: I probably won't be posting any blogs during that time, as all of the National Grange staff will be in Boise, ID for 10 days working Convention. If you are in the western states, I encourage you to come up and check out National Session. It should be a blast.

Take care everybody.

-Grace Boatright
National Grange Legislative Director

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