Former Supreme Court Justice, the late Louis Brandeis said, "The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
And so today I will cast my vote. Yet as I drive to my polling place, I have no idea what that vote will be. For the first time in my voting life, I can’t recall being so undecided this late in a campaign. I will definitely be among those voting against, rather than for a candidate. I’m sad that I have to choose between voting my conscience and casting a vote that might possibly count for something. But I’ve been sad before and will surely get over it.
I’m also optimistic – I remind myself that I am fortunate to live in a country that has amassed more than 200 years of peaceful transfers of power, both planned and sudden. People much smarter than I laid the groundwork for this still-functioning system and others much braver than I fought to make it a sustainable reality. I am privileged to drive my car to cast my vote, go back to my safe home, decide from at least nine stations to watch the results and, if I choose, complain fearlessly about the winner for the next four years. There are many in this world that don’t enjoy such luxuries.
I will vote today because it’s my right, my duty and my privilege. When I vote, I pay homage to all those who have made difficult decisions before me. To not vote because you don’t like the choice of candidates is the ultimate act of arrogance and selfishness.
In my early years, I was told voting equaled empowerment; as I get older, I realize it also is humbling.