A year ago, I asked Jeff to list some words to describe me and right away, he said, "Political."
Really? I thought about how I hadn't participated in a political protest since my early adulthood. I hadn't ever donated to a political party or gone door to door w/candidates' flyers or stood in the blasting heat w/petitions for any propositions-to-be. Yeah, I helped stuff envelopes for a political candidate, Andy Nichols, more than once, but that's mostly 'cause I was friends with his campaign-manager daughter. (Probably would still be called on to stuff periodically, were it not for his death in 2001.) Sure, I've been in Amnesty International for I dunno how long, but that's more a humanitarian organization that protects politically active people living under repressive regimes...
As I told Eric recently, I have chosen to channel most of my political energy into my public servanthood. The SNEAKY way, I think... hee hee hee (read w/maniacal laughter for full effect).
And I'll admit that my family has plans to sit around the TV next Tuesday watching the election results. We've never done this before, but this election seems different... for one thing, we're all somehow voting for the same candidate, which from my POV means that the apocalypse must be coming ;-)
OK, all right Jeff, I'm a bit political, I guess. But I'm no poli-sci major, and I don't read the newspaper often and recently have been only sporadically watching Frontline and listening to NPR; the "gift (curse?) of mercy" often can't hack watching the news.
I think voting is very important, but hardly the only important, relevant, effective thing we do as citizens. Some people feel conflicted w/choosing a candidate they don't feel represents them well, and they feel silly writing someone in. Or maybe they're just too busy negotiating the demands of their day-to-day lives to stay informed enough to feel confident making a rational decision, rather than just a knee-jerk emotional one. Heck, voting's important enough for this non-morning person to get up BEFORE the predawn hours to vote before my long work day...amazing that those poor volunteers were already down there in the 6 a.m. blackness. But I believe that no one should feel pressured to vote, because non-voting in a democracy must be legit, too, for all votes to have real meaning.
"Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy." --Richard Linklater, director of the movie _Slackers_--which I haven't seen and can't endorse, but I think the quote is apt.