Casting a ballot in an election is one of the most important rights we have as Americans. Today, Brayden got a civics lesson in democracy.
I am passionate about civil rights and liberties, and it is extremely important to me that Brayden be raised to know the virtue of acceptance, the danger of imposing opinion and the empowerment of free will.
I believe love is in short supply in this world, and no one should be denied the right to openly care for and commit to the person who fills his/her heart with joy.
I believe that women are capable of making their own decisions about their bodies, and I fear the mindset that one interpretation of God should so righteously legislate our government and affect our laws.
I believe that every American has a right to healthcare and should be able to buy individual insurance or be part of a work plan without fear of pre-existing conditions, lifetime maximums or insufficient coverage that discriminates against contraception, mental health, prenatal testing and many other fundamental, legitimate benefits.
Every two years we can put our ballots where our mouths are and elect the politicians that will represent us in Washington, D.C. And while it’s true our preferred candidate may not always win, in America, our vote always counts.
The right to vote is a treasured hallmark of American democracy. One that millions of people in other countries only dream of, and one that many are fighting for–and dying for–right now.
So it is with no surprise that I took great pride in taking my two-year-old son to the polls today to share this special experience with him.
Nevada offers a wonderful option called early voting where grocery stores, libraries, shopping centers and more turn into convenient polling locations for two weeks before Election Day. Today’s civics lesson took place at the local library I often take Brayden to.
On the drive there and while we waited in line, Brayden and I talked about voting, the president and America. Heady stuff for a two-year-old but I kept it to the basics.
Brayden was fascinated by the double-erased touchscreen pencils they give you, and, by some miracle, stayed perfectly still while perched on my hip as we made our selections at the voting machine. He even proudly exclaimed, “Vote!” when the machine printed my verification copy.
In an election year when so much seems to be about voting against something or someone, I encourage you to prioritize the top three things that matter to you and vote FOR them. It’s easy to be swept away with the volume of policy and heated rhetoric that each election cycle churns out and be left a bit dazed with the all the things to consider. That’s why you should focus on what’s truly important to you and your family and use those issues as your North Star on Tuesday, November 6. Chances are, the way you feel about other topics will more closely match with the candidate who shares your core concerns too. No candidate or party is ever going to match your views perfectly, but one should certainly align better than the other.
So, no matter who you vote for, just make sure you do.
P.S. I wanted to keep this post as neutral as possible (though I think my beliefs above reveal who I support). If you’d like to see who I think should be elected President in 2012, scroll down.