Thankful for … The Process

As I’ve mentioned before, we live in a swing state.

This means we are bombarded with political ads, and even politicians themselves.

While I’m not about to hop on a political soapbox, I DO want to talk about the process.

A process that we as Americans often take for granted.

The moment I was old enough to vote, I should have been overjoyed and excited at the prospect of participating in democracy at its finest. Instead, I didn’t even register to vote until the Bush vs. Gore election, which as we all know was a total cluster of Chads.

That was a DECADE, yes a freaking DECADE, after I was eligible to vote.

However, after that election, I vowed to participate. I wanted to add my voice to the masses. A good friend told me, “If you don’t vote you can’t complain about the system.” We all know how I LOVE to complain and conspiracy-theory the shit out of “The System”.

So voting was my free pass to do so.

This election year has been the pinnacle of my involvement in the process. If anything good has come out of this soap opera of an election it is this.

I participated in the Iowa Caucus, first time EVER.

 

Iowa Caucus

I put a candidate’s sign in my yard.

 

Election 2016

I even waited in line over FOUR hours to see a candidate speak.

 

Election 2016

 

As I watched the candidate on stage, I was overcome with gratitude. In other countries this wouldn’t be happening, I wouldn’t have the privilege to meet candidates, to share my opinions on Facebook and Twitter. {Sure there were a few troll comments, but overall everyone kept their cool}

As I was leaving the candidate’s rally that day I was stopped by a reporter for Iowa Public Radio. She wanted a sound bite or two. She was amazed to discover this was the first candidate I ever saw in person, especially living in Iowa. I told her “This election is different, and I NEED to be here.”

We all NEED to be here – be part of the process, because without our voices democracy dies.

No matter what happens next week, I will always remember this election. Not for its drama {ok, maybe partly because of the drama} But mostly because I finally let my voice be heard.

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