Posted November 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm, in From Progressive Strategies
By Mike Lux
Author, “The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be”
I have spent thousands of hours over my career picking up absentee ballots, planning early vote field operations, raising money for them, and encouraging people to vote early, but I have rarely done it myself. For me, going to my local polling place on election day, standing in line with my fellow citizens (hopefully for a good long time), and going into the polling booth and casting my ballot is a sacred ritual, a moment that thrills me and almost always brings tears of joy to my eyes. I am religious about democracy, and the act of voting is the ultimate democratic ritual there is.
Thomas Jefferson’s words launching this great modern experiment with democracy sum it up, and they are part of my scripture:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to pursue these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.”
We vote because government requires consent of the governed, and in that voting booth, we are the equal of every other citizen in this country. Some people have more money, some have more power, but in the act of voting, everyone’s vote counts the same. And no matter how messed up things get, as long as we get to vote, we have a chance to change things. Wealth and power can and do manipulate our economy and manipulate our system of government, but when we vote, we still have the power to take things back into our own hands. (more…)