My parents didn’t vote. Odd for members of a generation that risked everything to protect that right…but true nonetheless. They didn’t vote.
The one time they went to the polls Kennedy beat Nixon. Mom voted for Jack. Dad voted for Dick. I know this because they told me they had cancelled each other out. Jack won by a nose. But what was the point? They cancelled each other out. As time went on they became more and more disillusioned with politics and never went back. What was the point?
What was fascinating to me about that time was the fact that we were even having the discussion. The Greatest Generation, as a general rule, didn’t talk politics. Money, sex, religion and politics were taboo. Yet here they were speaking openly about their political leanings and their frustration with the government. It was a conversation that happened once and was never repeated.
Times are different now. Political differences are the subject of heated debates in bar rooms, bedrooms, union halls and churches. Abortion, contraception, women’s rights, gay rights, equal pay all aired in open forum. So it is almost comical to watch persons who are actually seeking public office refuse to divulge their political predilections on the basis of their constitutional right to privacy.
Alison Lundegran-Grimes is trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell is seeking a sixth term in office. In a recent debate she was asked if she would confirm that she had voted for Barak Obama in the last election. She refused...citing her constitutional right to privacy.
Ok, I get that Ms. Lundagran-Grimes did not want to utter the words: “I voted for Barak Obama” for fear that she would find her comment edited by the McConnell camp into a political ad where she is wearing horns and breathing fire while eating children. But there are any number of ways to get around that. For example she might have said:
“I’m not going to give Senator McConnell the opportunity to misrepresent my comments. But I will say this. I voted for the man whose policies kept the economy from plunging into the next Great Depression. I voted for the man whose policies kept the banking industry solvent. I voted for the man whose policies saved the auto industry and 3 million jobs. I voted for the man whose policies turned an economy that was losing 700,000 private sector jobs per month into one that each month produces 220,000 new private sector jobs. I voted for the man whose policies resulted in record corporate profits and skyrocketing numbers on Wall Street. I voted for the man who believes that affordable health care is a right not a privilege; whose policies made affordable health care available for the first time to millions of Americans. I voted for the man who believes in women’s rights, gay rights, increasing the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work. I voted for the man whose policies ended the unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same man who refused my opponent’s calls to take us to war in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and the Ukraine. I voted for the man who believes that we should be finding ways that make it easier to vote…not more difficult. I have supported these successful policies. Senator McConnell has opposed each and every one of them. The record speaks for itself.”
The point here is that government does work, elections do matter and every vote counts.
Feel free to exercise your right to privacy.
Just be sure to vote.