Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Today, I Voted.

Voting is still relatively new for humans. But we have come a long way, and today I helped to make the world a better place.  

Well-organized human civilizations are only 6,500 or so years old.  Athenian democracy, which allowed the privileged male citizenry to vote for leaders, began about 2,600 years ago.  The Iroquois, in western New York, developed a democracy of men and women in the 1400's but western colonial rule overcame them. So, the world's most impactful democratic invention had to wait until 1776, and eventually 1789 for the US Constitution. Most of Europe, and much of the world, has followed suit.  The US, however, could not really be called a fully functioning democracy until all races and genders were allowed the vote, in 1870 and 1920, respectively.  The civil rights movement and the voting rights act in the 1960's expanded the protection of the right to vote in the face of systemic disenfranchisement.  

So, in the history of civilization, a functioning democracy is only 100/6500 years old, or 1.54% of human history. And even in those 100 years, there has been need for much progress.  Yes, voting is very new.

We should not be surprised that there is agitation around elections, or that there are people who want to use power to diminish their opponents' power in the ballot box.  After all, we are still fairly primitive when it comes to this.  We are learning how to stop them.

So today, I voted.  I voted in a state without significant controversy, and with known outcomes.  I also made phone calls to states where the outcomes were less clear.  And over the past year, in my private time and life, I have campaigned, and donated and recruited others to advance my hopes for our country and the world. It was all quiet and civilized.  But after all of that effort, nothing mattered except that I voted.

I did not stop anyone else from voting.  I didn't not fear that anyone else was voting.  I do not think that anyone out there is trying to steal my vote.  And I don't think that people will come to burn down my town because of the results of the vote.

The overwhelming majority of Americans today did what I did.  They quietly, peacefully and sincerely responded to the past actions of our government and the future hopes offered by the candidates and they voted.  The world is forever changed as a result.

Yes, we are still very new at this, we humans. But today was a good day.

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