The Privilege of Voting – Presidential Election 2012

Presidential Election 2012For the first time, my first born child is old enough to vote and he’s taking the privilege of voting in the Presidential Election 2012 as seriously as any good American citizen. My goal as a parent has always been to raise productive members of society who can add to the common good by being active citizens in a country where exercising our collective rights is really a privilege.

And that’s where we get off track sometimes. Voting is a privilege that many have fought and died for which is why it kills me every election day to hear the media tell us that roughly half of our citizens even bother to vote. And I fear that today, the Presidential Election 2012 will be no different.

Presidential Election 2012

Whether it’s Hurricane Sandy that keeps well meaning citizens from getting to the polls or general apathy, it’s a mindset I’ve never understood or been able to stomach. That’s why I’m proud of my first born. He can’t wait to vote in this Presidential Election 2012; it’s his first Presidential election and he knows who he believes is the best man for the job.

We can talk about the inequities of the Electoral College versus the popular vote, or liberals and conservatives, or whose plan will grow the economy. He berates me for believing that my chosen candidate is the only way forward while I tell him that his youth and naivety keep him from seeing what’s really best for our Nation.

We “watched” the debates together over Twitter, arguing and pointing out the zingers that our respective champion managed to get in during the discourse. We participated in the process all along the way which will culminate in our canceling each others votes today at the polls.

And isn’t that the beauty of the whole thing? My son and I have the right to debate the fate of our Nation. When I was in 6th grade, my school class made a quilt for the Bi-Centennial. We could choose any historical event and sew a representative panel depicting that event. Each panel would be added to the final quilt which eventually graced the wall of the Media Center. [I wonder if it’s still there?]

As a fledgling feminist, I chose Women’s Suffrage and sewed a panel that said, “Women’s Vote 1920”. That’s where it all began for me. The understanding that those with more fortitude than I, laid down their lives to guarantee me the right to be heard.

As far as I’m concerned, voting is a privilege that I exercise in nearly EVERY election from school budget to the President of the United States of America. The fact that my son is following in my footsteps makes me very proud.

Even if he is voting for the wrong guy in this Presidential Election 2012.