Jen and I are permanent absentee voters, and yet every election day I find myself rushing down to the polling place at the last minute to drop our envelopes in the box. And just about every election day I feel like sometimes my vote doesn’t matter or I’m otherwise not happy about the choices. But almost as often as all that, once I actually get to Madrone elementary school and make my way to the library to cast my vote, all that stuff fades away. I’m a sentimentalist at heart, and as cheesy as it may sound to some–or most in my neck of the woods–I’m very patriotic. I don’t have any illusions of the United States of America as infallible superpower, but I love my country. As I walked down that sidewalk, following the signs directing me to the polling place, I thought about the millions of other people around the country doing that very same thing this very same day. People leaving their comfy couches, some braving the weather, some driving, some maybe walking, all to exercise their civic duty. Maybe I’m just too naive, but I couldn’t help but feel a little proud. Like I said, I know this country has its problems, but I refuse to be a cynic. Whoever wins the nominations and then the election, even if it isn’t someone I voted for, or would ever vote for, I hope that I will honestly be able to wish them well for the good of the country. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they do or say (and if you do find yourself agreeing with everything any politician does or says you need to lay off the Kool-aid), but at least to be honest about it when they do get something right. Like I said, maybe I’m naive and underestimating my own capacity for cynicism, but I’m not afraid to be optimistic.
So here’s to you America! Don’t let me down…even though you probably will (ooops, looks like cynicism is getting a head start).
In this patriotic spirit, here’s a video from something Fox ran before the Super Bowl. It’s a group of current and former NFL players reading the Declaration of Independence. I’ll admit, it got me a bit misty…OK, maybe a lot misty. When Pat Tillman’s wife came on, I was done. The beginning and end, with actors dressed like the founding fathers acting out some scenes are a little corny, but the rest is quite moving. Enjoy!