Unless you live under a rock, you know today is election day in the U.S. Even those choosing to not vote are aware of it. For someone like me that grew up steeped in politics, majored in Political Science in college and that writes an awful lot about politics, today is like the Super Bowl. Who wins and who loses? What trends do we see? What does this mean for the future? How do the results tonight change what will happen in 2020?
While many people understandably take advantage of early voting, for me there is nothing quite like going to your polling place and actually casting your vote on election day. I don't want to make too much of it but it borders on a sacred act. For over two centuries Americans like me have gathered on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to vote for their representatives in our Republic. Again, not to be too hokey, but I get a little chill when I think about it. I know politics is often banal and dirty and dishonest but our system of government has long been the envy of the world. It is even better that my wife and I can take our adult sons with us to the polls to cast their vote.
At this point I don't know what tonight will bring but I will certainly jot down some thoughts later tonight or tomorrow. I do know this, I feel a little bit melancholy today. As important as this day in November is to me, I can't help but feeling like our run is coming to an end one way or the other. I worry that we are on the edge of unrest and violence and that a multicultural nation of over 300 million people simply cannot be sustained. We will see but I see little reason for hope on that question.
It is also a day to wonder about the franchise. Does it make sense to have a nearly universal franchise where people who are not stakeholders in the sense of paying taxes and owning property have the same voting rights as those that do? I know that is a sacred cow but it is a valid and important question. Is our republic made stronger or weaker by having everyone vote?
Lots of question swirling around. I am more nervous today than I was in 2016. I assumed two years ago that Hillary would win because the media and polls were telling us that uniformly and I was as shocked as everyone else. Tonight no one knows what to expect. It should be an interesting evening!