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The Long & Winding Road: Let’s vote! An election for the ages

The Long & Winding Road: Let’s vote! An election for the ages

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“Hunker down,” a friend told me. “Be sure you have a couple of months’ worth of supplies.”

“You mean in case I get COVID?” I asked, still an innocent.

“No! The elections. It’s going to be bad out there. You gotta make sure you don’t have to leave your house—for weeks.”

Oh, joy. Not leaving home for weeks. Now that will be a big change. I feel like I’ve been a prisoner in my lovely town for half a year. Oh, wait. I have been! I’m sure many of you feel the same. If nothing else, we’re all mask weary, and COVID-19 fatigued.

Will the world end as we know it on Election Day, this Tuesday?

That’s what some people are claiming. That the presidential election, no matter the victor,

will lead to violence in the streets, people taking up arms and bloodying those who voted for the wrong guy.

I say, however, that I have faith in my fellow countrymen and women, and while I know that some people will be devastated by the election results, they will accept them and move on. Many people felt crushed when our current president won the election four years ago, tears streaming down faces as the news unfurled. And eight years before that, lots of Americans were upset when Barack Obama beat John McCain.

I know a lot has changed in the past nearly four years. And apparently lots of never-before gun owners are making purchases this month. Our country is more “divided,” some say. You only have to watch one of the Obama/McCain debates to understand how far we have fallen from civil discourse.

Still, it’s not as if the US has been fair to all Americans. Far from it, people. From the suffragettes to the Civil Rights era to today’s Black Lives Matter movement, it’s obvious that shameful discrepancies have been with us for a very long time.

But we can hope, right? We can cross our fingers and toes that this week’s election will end up giving us someone who can work to heal the country, and do so fairly. And a Senate and Congress that actually fight for the people, for the poor, for those without voices.

Actually, I feel it’s the local and the statewide elections that will have the most effect on our lives. Who will be our new mayor? Who will have a seat in the Arizona Legislature, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, the school boards, the state Corporation Commission? And on and on.

At least those election results will not bring blood into our streets. They will create civil transitions of power, and ones of which we can be proud. I’m sure of that.

The sting of these elections for me is that my mom did not get to vote this year. I often told my friends that this president was keeping Sally alive, so strongly did she feel about this man in the White House. So strongly did she feel it was her privilege to vote. As many of you know, my mom died last month. She didn’t make it to early voting, but I sure did, as did her other five children and I hope many of her grandchildren.

“Vote early and vote often,” gangster Al Capone and others from Chicago are credited with saying in the 1900s. I won’t go that far, but I hope that everyone who has not yet voted early will get themselves to their ballot box Tuesday and honor that privilege.

I will be thinking of Sally, and crossing my fingers that she’s helping from somewhere above.

I hope that’s not illegal.



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