Why vote?

On our trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving, the boarding announcements for each flight began with an invitation to active service people and veterans to board first, always followed with “thank you for your service.”

People join the military for many reasons. Some out of a sense of patriotism, others because that was the best-paying job they could find at the time. My dad went to OCS and served two years as an officer in the Naval Reserve to avoid the Korean War draft.

Many of the houses in my neighborhood have flagpoles in their front yards flying the American flag. Not the defaced versions like the black-and-white flag or the one with one of the white stripes colored blue, but the old fashioned flag we used to have to say the pledge to in elementary and secondary school. And of course, there are the tiny paper flags that proliferate around July 4th, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, both in the neighborhood and the local cemetery.

I never served in the military. But I’m a student of American history, and I respect the sacrifice many Americans made so that I can enjoy the freedoms of being an American. Among those freedoms that they suffered and died for was my right to vote.

I’ve seen people comment on the these threads and elsewhere on their contempt for both political parties and that they are considering not voting in the next election. Look, I’ve voted in every election since 1973. I can’t recall the last time I voted for a candidate who embodied metaphysical perfection. I’ve always had to choose between what I considered the lesser of two evils. But I continue to honor my forebears by exercising my right to vote. YMMV.