One of my favorite television series was Northern Exposure. If you are familiar with the series, you will remember Chris Stevens, the radio DJ played by John Corbett. He was a ex-felon who enjoyed large-scale artistic displays such as tossing a piano from a counterweight. The character of Chris Stevens often lamented the fact that as an ex-felon, he had lost the right to vote.
Chris was a bit of a scruffy, scrubby, often with long hair and sometimes a bit of a beard. During one episode the town of Cecily, Alaska was voting for a new mayor. Unable to vote, Chris spent the days before the election reading from the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and various patriotic writings. On the day of the election Chris appears at the polling place in a suit. His hair has been cut and he has a shave. Even though he cannot vote, he wishes to watch the proceedings. It was as close as he could get to exercising his rights as am American Citizen. The end of the show featured his radio discussion about the importance of voting. His final line was something about the prodigal son having come home.
I think of that episode each and every time I have the honor and privilege of voting..
Early voting began here in New Mexico on Saturday. The Pink Flamingo managed to squeak into vote that day, by just a few minutes. From what I could tell, nearly 200 people had already voted. I don’t mind admitting I voted a straight party ticket. And, surprisingly, it was GOP! (As if I would vote anything else).
As usual, after voting, as usual, I was struck with the fact that voting is an honor and a privilege. It is a right that is not to be taken lightly nor as a joke. Voting should be free. One should not be co-erced into voting for a candidate, issue or a party.
Neither should one lightly undertake voting for candidates even if there is an “R” in front of their name. The Pink Flamingo is fortunate in that NM has not been destroyed by the Tea Parties to the point where they have destroyed the GOP.
There are some candidates who are too flaky and too idiotic to be elected – some of them are even Tea Party “Patriots”. It reaches the point where one must ask how much they love the country, detest the Dems, and are intellectually honest.
Thank goodness in New Mexico, the choice is not necessary. We have good Republican candidates who do not insult the intellect.
Then again, if the idiots who are running will simply be a brain-dead vote against Obama, then I guess….