Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote.

I am so busy I don't have time to breathe, thanks to an on-site freelance position that I really enjoy. We'll speak more of that later. Right now, though, here's what's important.

Today, commuting to work on my bicycle, someone pulled up to me in the bike lane and asked if I knew where a bank was. I didn't. But it opened a line of communication between myself and another person. We talked the rest of the way to work. He gave me advice on my bike, I told him about my broken collar bone. We didn't exchange names. There were lots of people parked in the bike lane today, so we called back and forth to one another to let the other person know it was safe to go around. I made a human connection today as I flew in and out of traffic. This is what riding a bike affords me: there is a sense of community, a sense of belonging. I am a part of something.

This story could not have happened to me at a better time. I am 23 years old and have participated in two presidential elections. I left my grandmother's funeral early in 2004 so I could fly back to Ohio and vote. My candidate was already chosen, and I wanted him to win, but I was in the "lesser of two evils" crowd that you hear so much about come voting time. I didn't feel like I belonged to a movement. I was simply making a choice. I voted for Kerry, who ultimately lost. It would be easy to say my vote didn't count, but it would also be painful and pointless. It would imply that I regret voting; that it didn't matter.

But this time? This time, I am in it. I have invested for over a year in my candidate, from the steps where he gave his first speech declaring his intention to run, to the convention where he accepted the nomination to be this year's candidate. I was the first on my street with a yard sign. I attended every function I could. I participated. I became a part of something bigger. I didn't let the fact that my vote "didn't matter" in 2004 deter me from committing to this as hard as possible.

I cannot say this enough: Your vote matters. I very strongly believe in my candidate and my political views, but this is not the day for me to push them on you. I hope your mind is already made up. I hope you believe as strongly in your candidate as I do in mine, no matter who you're voting for. You can debate all day whether or not your vote matters, you can spout facts about the electoral college, but this is the one thing you can do.

This is your vote. Belong to something.

(Oh, side note, if you would like me to push my views on you - YES on Prop 1A, a really gigantic FUCK NO on Prop 8, and YES to Obama/Biden '08. But honestly, just get out there.)

2 comments:

troymccluresf said...

Fuckin A.

BTW, will be at Dovre to (hopefully) celebrate.

New to the Bay said...

Oh, nice! That's another mark on the list of places I haven't been to. Maybe I'll swing by. I figure I'll try Kilowatt until it gets too packed (lots of TVs) and then maybe venture somewhere else. Inner Mission is showing it, but I plan on getting a little drunker than $5 beers will allow me tonight.