In 17 days I will do something I have never done before. I wish I could say I will do it with a joyful heart. I wish I could I could say I will do it with the spirit of adventure and excitement that often accompanies first time experience. But sadly I am approaching this milestone in my life as more like a millstone around my neck.
For the sad truth is I will exercise my franchise for the first time on November 4th and I wish it was under different circumstances. To be sure I am not proud of this particular track record. But to understand why I have never set foot in a voting booth we must go back to a day 33 years ago. I realize that for some of you, maybe even most of you, that is a long time.
But in my mind it seems like yesterday. I became completely disillusioned with politics that day and I have never ever really recovered. From 1968 when he was first elected as president my generation screamed as loud as we could that Richard Nixon was a crook. It seemed that no one believed us, a bunch of overfed, long-haired leaping young people. No one, that is until Tricky Dick hung himself and succumbed to the charges of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States became the first president to resign in August of 1974. “See we told you so!” seemed weak at the time. It still does. It turned me off politics so strongly that I vowed never to participate in a system that could elect a person so crooked that he had to be installed into his grave with a power auger.
But that was then, this is now.
Maybe if I had been more political in the intervening years, maybe if I had found the intestinal fortitude to hold my nose and to vote for some of the lesser scumbags that have run for office maybe just maybe this country wouldn’t be in the awful fix it’s in now. Yeah and maybe pigs can fertilize fields by doing crop-dusting flights. Sans Airplanes.
I have no real hope that my lonely little vote will make a difference in this year’s outcome. I watched in smug self satisfaction seven years ago as the election was stolen. But this year I have to vote. If I don’t vote and the wrong person gets the brass ring I will not be able to say “See I told you so.”
I just wish that my first time behind the curtain I could vote for someone, not against someone.
Or then again, God help us please, I could be wrong.
ED NOTE: From Nov. 2008