It's election day. Once again, in this basically half blue/half red nation, our presidential race depends on the ever-mysterious, somewhat capricious swing voters. And once again --just like we've been told in virtually every other presidential race prior to this one --we are told that this is the most important presidential race of our lifetime.
Regardless of our own particular blue, red or purple hue, I think we can all agree that it will be nice for the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to pack up and GET OUT. Whether our new president turns out to be the thoughtful Constitutional scholar who inspired a movement or the intense former soldier intent on bipartisan reform, we can celebrate the fact that each of us is endowed with the right to cast a vote and be counted. (Diebold machines notwithstanding...)
While the presidential race has dominated the news, I am actually more interested in the local races and measures on ballots all over the country. Despite the spin, I find most of the final stage presidential candidates in our current duopoly to be far more similar than different -- regardless of party. But as a lifetime political junkie and activist, I see so much potential on the state and local level. New faces are emerging in Congressional and local positions. Initiatives and propositions have been introduced that can greatly affect the lives of millions. Sure, the Obama/McCain show has all the star power and grabs the big headlines-- but quietly, behind the scenes, local elections can make a difference on so many levels in cities all over the country -- and in the future legislation passed by our Congress. I'm inspired by those who work so tirelessly to better their own communities and represent their neighbors. Equally, I'm horrified at the small-mindedness of some who work just as hard to hurl boulders into the river of real progress.
But mostly, I'm just honored and proud to be an American today, and be able to join in the process of my country's government. It's flawed, and sometimes corrupt, and all too often removed from the ideals behind the phrase "We the People." But it's also inspirational and revolutionary and made even better when we all participate in it.
Get out and vote, everybody. And regardless of who wins, here's to a more perfect union.