This is the sketch I'd intended for my last post but a visit from the In-laws and quite a bit of yard work took up most of my time last week. So here it is, a few days late. There isn't any one incident that prompted me to draw it, just a general frustration with folks who want free candy without actually getting in the spirit of Halloween. In our last house, we always saw one or two kids who would just show up with a little greasepaint smeared on their faces expecting a handful of candy. I'd suppress the urge to kick them off my porch ("Git off my lawn!") and would grudgingly give them a snickers bar or two. (Fun-size of course. What's "fun" about smaller candy, anyway? I've always wondered.) Anyway, Halloween was great this year. I had a blast and don't expect me to stop watching horror movies or drawing spooky things just because it's November and "Jingle Bells" is playing over the Walmart speakers.
Tomorrow is Election Day, I'm getting up at 5:00 a.m. and heading for the polls. I expect the lines to be massive. We usually have pretty brisk turnout in our neighborhood so I think this year will be huge. Suzanne's already voted since she's headed to New York on business tomorrow but I'm looking forward to going to the polls. I love the experience of voting. It's and event, like a nationwide party. Especially this year. Most elections I feel like I'm spitting into the wind. Virginia votes Republican in every Presidential election so it's never felt like I needed to vote one way or the other. But I've never missed an election and I never will if I can help it. And this year, Virginia is a battleground state so it feels like my vote really counts. I'm so excited.
I just don't get folks who don't vote. Regardless of who they would vote for. Too many people have bled and died for our right to vote, especially in the cases of women and African-Americans. I simply can't understand why someone would take that right for granted or, worse, willingly give it up. It is not just our right as American citizens to vote but also our duty. I didn't support the Iraq war but I keep thinking about the Iraqis who, despite being threatened with their own deaths and the deaths of their families, voted in their first free elections, proudly holding up their ink-stained fingers, knowing full well it could cost them their lives. That was a very gratifying scene. But then I think about folks over here who skip voting because they want to sleep late or because they hate waiting in lines or, unforgivably, they don't know who the candidates are. And that makes me angry. I would walk ten miles through snow and sleet to get to the polls if I had to.
So, please, tomorrow, no matter how busy you are, set aside a few minutes (or hours as the case may be) and honor the people who have given their lives so that we can have a say in who runs our government and go cast your vote.