I almost cried at the polling station today with my three children standing near me.
All around me stood people who were most likely voting differently from each other.
There were elderly citizens using walkers to get to the voting booth. A high school student in front of me was voting for the very first time. I wasn’t the only mom with kids taking it all in through their small eyes.
Outside the polling station, a black man passed out political flyers for his Missouri state candidate. Nearby, a female Trump supporter held a sign near Clinton supporters.
Everyone waited patiently in line. Everyone followed the rules. The polling station volunteers were kind and helpful.
As I stood in line observing everything I saw, reflecting on this very crazy 2016 election, I really did become emotional and almost started crying. In my mind, I envisioned a bolder version of myself standing atop a table a la Robin Williams in “Dead Poet’s Society” and saying to everyone in the room:
Will you all look at this? How beautiful is this?
We are all exercising our right to vote for our leaders. All of us. The young and old, the educated and uneducated. Black and white. Male and female. All of us.
And we are doing it peacefully.
I would, of course, then climb down from the table to the shocked and embarrassed children I brought with me. But I would still believe everything I said.
It really is amazing. Please don’t miss this about our country. We have such a deep-seated belief that every adult citizen has the right to vote that we would never dare interfere with that.
If we didn’t truly believe in equality in American, perhaps we would become violent every 4 years to stop “The Other” from voting his or her conscience/preference/political stance.
But we don’t.
Every 4 years, we all calm the heck down on election day and patiently wait in polling lines with people who will vote differently than us.
This is amazing.
Thank you, America, for already being great. Thank you, America, for already being strong together on election day.
Fellow citizens. Because you were strong and great today, I get to vote. And my children watched me vote amidst a very calm environment.
Which is awesome because I want them to look forward to the day when they get to cast their own vote without fear.
Thank you, America. No matter the outcome, I’m genuinely proud of you today.