Have you been getting a lot of calls from politicians lately? I'm averaging two a day. Not only do the politicians call, but they have their wives call, their kids call. It's amazing. Interestingly enough, every call but one has only been a recording. The one "real" person who called me was a write-in candidate for mayor. I thought he's worth voting for because I know he's a human being. I'm not voting for a machine! When I went to vote this morning, I couldn't remember the guy's name. I saw a place to write in his name. I thought about checking it and writing "That guy who called me," but I didn't think that would count. DARN IT! I really do believe in rewarding extra effort.
One of the recorded calls I received started out like this, "Lock your doors!" because some guy is running for some office who likes to let criminals out of jail. GASP!! So, if he gets elected, we'll definitely have to lock our doors. It hasn't occurred to me to do that before now.
I do consider it my duty as a citizen to vote. Mainly because I always have to cancel out my husband's vote. Still. I do consider this to be the greatest country in the world. No. It isn't perfect, but I know enough about some of the things which go on in other countries to know I'd choose this one any day of the week. Recently, I met a woman from India. However, she is now an American citizen. We talked at length about what it means to her to be an American citizen. She told me when she became a citizen, she realized that she was agreeing to stand up with and for America even if it meant fighting against the country she was born in. I got chills. Here is a woman who has lived here only since she became an adult, but her loyalty and patriotism outweighs most of us cynics who had the blessing to be born here.
Here are a few things I think we take for granted.
1. Freedom of speech. I can blast our president and call him a Poop Head and I can feel pretty confident I will not go to jail or be "disappeared" as has happened in some Central American countries when certain people criticized those in power. The criticisms were legitimate, not just name calling. Some of the bodies of these "disappeared" people have not been recovered to this day.
2. Freedom to have six kids or more. China. Need I say more?
3. Freedom to vote for who I want to and not just accept the guy in power because his dad was the king until he died. I'm thinking of some middle eastern countries (not England. I know the Queen doesn't really get to run the country, just those guys who are so polite to each other in their debates. Have you ever watched that? It's hilarious!) Oh, and don't try to steal anything over in Saudia Arabia or Nigeria. I hear they have a "it'll only happen twice rule" because that's how many hands you will lose. And did you hear on the radio about the woman in Somalia who was stoned to death because of adultery? The details of the story are just heart-breaking as she was only 13 and she was raped. Instead of protection, the government blamed this poor child and had her killed. Again, we aren't a perfect country, but I can't imagine something like that happening here. Oh, the injustice! And then there is the issue of adultery. I figure if adultery was a law in this country, there would be a serious shortage of rocks. So, I guess I can add to my list
4. Freedom to have intercourse (and not the kind that Jane Austin means in her books either).
5. Freedom to pretty much go where I want to go. I don't have to get permission from some government official. The exception to this rule is Fort Knox. You can't take a tour of Fort Knox. If you try, people in military uniform will stop you. Ask my friend Leona. She'll tell you. You also can't go in certain parts of the White House. They have dogs there. The dogs can hurt you if you don't stay behind the red velvet ropes. And don't try to lift the lid of the glass case to touch the Declaration of Independence. More people in uniform will come and tell you that was a bad thing to do.
6. The privilege of an education. Do you know in some developing nations families have to pay for their kids to go to school? I'm not talking about college. I'm talking about primary school. We value education in this country, and by the number of exchange students we have here, I think other countries realize it as well.
So, that's my patriotic blog today on election day. I hope if you haven't voted yet, you'll go out and do it! You may think you only have two choices for president. Not True. You can write in your candidate. I saw a list of the write-in candidates this morning. You can even put your own name on the line. You probably won't win, but just think how much fun it would be to tell your friends you ran for President in '08.
Still need motivation to vote? Read about women and the vote at a fellow author's blog at
And that happened in THIS country. All I can say is we've come a long way, baby!