Soon, storms and senior bones willing, I will perform that civic duty for the sixteenth time, casting a ballot for Barack Obama, an imperfect man who has done his best during trying times.
Looking back, I have voted for seven winners and eight losers. If the President is reelected, it would even my record, but that’s not the point.
Voting isn’t self-expression, like writing poetry. It is or should be the rational choice of someone most likely to do us all the most good (or least harm) during four years of signing or vetoing laws, naming Supreme Court judges and having a finger next to the nuclear button.
Only 12 years ago, Ralph Nader idealists made the difference between putting in the White House George W. Bush and Al Gore who, for all his shortcomings, would not have taken us into a needless war in Iraq or appointed Justices who think corporations are people.
Little wonder that nostalgia for the days before then now has Bill Clinton on the campaign trail playing Harry Truman to crowds yelling, “Give ‘em hell, Bill.”
Whatever your age, don’t think about poetry next Tuesday. Just do what I’m going to do—-pull the lever for Obama/Biden and hope that enough Americans have the good sense to do the same.