Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The vote is in...

Well, it's Election Day in the United States of America (aka USA).  Kids enjoyed a day out of school, some employees enjoyed a few hours off to go vote, and if you are like me, you're a nervous wreck waiting for these results...more so than any of the other times we've voted in the 2000s.  I didn't come here tonight to talk about politics.  If you look at my Twitter, I've already told you that I don't do politics and I know when to stay in my lane.  However, I do come to you tonight to talk about one giant thing - voting.  

Earlier this year, the WORLD watched as Brexit happened.  Not sure what that is?  Go look it up because I'm not going to tell you here.  I would like to use that as a learning experience.  People did not like it when it happened.  Heck, some of the people who voted for Brexit had voter regret.  But guess what?  They at least voted!!!

I gladly supported EVERYONE who voted today.  If I follow you on Instagram and I saw your "I voted" sticker, I liked your photo.  I'm sure I didn't catch everyone, but I liked all that I saw.  (Just so you know, you didn't see me post mine today because I voted 2 weeks ago, but it's on there before all the beach pics).  I didn't care if the hashtag was #ImWithHer or #Trump.  I was just happy to see people doing what they have the right (and for some the privilege of doing), voting!  

We cannot complain if we do not vote.  Just because our candidate didn't win or just because an issue we were really wanting didn't pass, it doesn't mean that we didn't do our part.  If anything, it may help you want to be involved a little bit more.  Again, I do NOT do politics.  I will go to a few meetings and events, if and only if invited.  However, just because you don't see me out voicing my opinion doesn't mean that I do not have one.  

There are some things in my life I choose to keep private.  My vote is one of those things.  The two people who went half on me don't even know who I vote for, so why in the world do you think I'm going to tell you?  Sorry, just not going to happen.  But I will tell you this - I VOTED!!!  If we want change, we have to keep trying for change.  

In the USA, women didn't just get the right to vote until 1920.  Hundreds of people fought for years to get that to happen.  It didn't happen overnight and neither will anything else we are working for.  In the USA, African-Americans didn't just gain the right to vote in 1965.  People literally died to get that to happen!  

We are blessed beyond measure to be USA citizens.  It's not perfect.  We have a crime problem.  We have a culture that believes women should be able to prevent their own rapes.  And we have countless of homeless and hungry children that need good homes.  But we do have this, the right to vote.  Do you realize in some countries, women are still not allowed to vote?  Do you realize in some countries, there are some citizens fighting for the rights many US citizens take for granted?  

When I went to vote 2 weeks ago, it took me 30 minutes to vote.  I had left work early, so that is what I did with some of my time.  Parking was horrible, but I stayed until I found a space and voted.  Today, my love went after work and it took him about 10 minutes.  Several friends of mine said it only took them an hour.  A gentleman in my office said it only took him an hour and he still made it to work on time (8am).  There is absolutely no excuse for you to not go vote.  

Don't have a car?  I know several people who took their own time and gas to take people to go vote.  By the way, Uber and Lyft are also options.  No excuse!  Don't have the time?  If you have the latest iPhone or most popular shoes that I know people were waiting in line for, you have time to vote.  The shoes are going to be out of style by next season and a new phone will be out next year, but tonight, there are 4 years on the line, people.  No excuse!  You don't have anyone to babysit your children?  This is a good civic lesson.  Take them with you, just don't let them take a photo while you are voting.  No excuse!  You don't think it changes anything?  Didn't I just tell you things take time?!  Think about the future generations of your family!  No excuse!  I have so many more, but I cannot flood this post with that madness.  Just remember - you have NO EXCUSE! 

As I watch my Twitter feed tonight, I'm not surprised about the reactions from my tweeps in other countries.  They are watching us!  More important, our kids are watching us.  For those of us who do not have kids yet, those unborn babies are depending on us to do the right thing.  For those of us not feeling the whole mother role, think about your nieces, nephews, little cousins, and just the children in your life that you love.  They are watching you.  

Voting is important.  Let me just put it out there.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm African-American or Black or whatever the little bubble is that I identify most with.  I'm also a woman.  I have a double whammy.  As a woman, I've had the write to vote in the USA for less than 100 years.  As an African-American, I've had the right to vote for 51 years.  Let me spell that out for you.  My parents are 61.  They were 10 when they earned the right to vote.  10 years old - legally not old enough to vote, but they also shouldn't remember getting the right to vote!!!  It should have been happened.  

Yet, in the second paragraph of the Unites States Declaration of Independence, it reads all men are created equal.  If that were really true, then how come my maternal grandmother couldn't vote until she was 43?  How come a few of my grandparents' brothers went to war to fight for our country, but when they got home, they couldn't vote?  

Don't get me wrong, I know the elections may not go the way I want them to.  Someone and something (an issue) has to lose.  But it is not only my right, it is my HONOR to vote because there are people in my gene pool who never got the chance, died trying, or died in a war for a country that saw them as less than human.  I vote for the children I may have.  I vote because I was born in a time where I've always had the right, but my parents did not.  I vote because it matters.  I vote because people are depending on me.  I vote because I would be mad at myself if I didn't       

Your turn!  Let me hear why you vote and why it is so important to you.  You don't have to tell which political party your affiliate with or who you voted for.  I really don't care.  I just want to know why you voted.  I also invite my non US citizen friends and readers to tell me why they vote.  If you are in a country where you don't have the right to vote, I want to hear that too.  Let's start a dialogue about this.  

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