Last night, I was struck by this passage in The Accidental Tourist:
“You really think that you and me have any power?”
“You and I, honey.”
“It’s just free speech, that’s all we’ve got. We can say whatever we like, then the government goes and does exactly what it pleases. You call that democracy? It’s like we’re on a ship, headed somewhere terrible, and somebody else is steering and the passengers can’t jump off.”
I think it affected me most in light of today, election day. I don’t think America is a perfect country; far from it. I don’t think we truly have a democracy, and I don’t agree in a two-party system. But there are things I love about America, things I have and continue to take for granted nearly every day because I was born and raised here.
Today, I am most thankful for my freedom from fear
There are plenty of terrifying things that could happen at any moment. But compared to other countries, I have it pretty good. I can drink water without getting malaria. I don’t have to worry about being killed for disapproving of a political agenda. I can marry whomever I choose. I don’t have to worry about being forced into slavery or killed for my beliefs.
When I go to bed at night, I’m not scared. And, today, that it was I am most thankful for.
I voted for Barack Obama for many reasons, all of which are unnecessary to share at this late point, because I’m sure you have already made up your mind. I will be extremely disappointed if he loses. But even if I woke up and Mitt Romney was president, I will still be able to drink water without getting malaria. I won’t have to worry about being killed for disapproving of his character or agenda. I won’t be forced to marry anyone or become enslaved.
I can vote. It’s not much, but it’s something.