Election Day. My favorite American holiday. Truly, it is. 

Our family votes together every time. Me, Husband, and all the posse in tow. We make our informed decisions in advance, but occasionally change our minds while in the booth. We take this most significant piece of our citizenship very seriously. This is, as an American, the single greatest act of patriotism.

I find it hard to listen to people complain about the elections.

“It’s always rigged.”

“There’s no choice.”

“I can’t get away to vote.”

and my favorite:

“The lines are always too long.”

Now, despite the chaos in which I feel live, I am going to take these one-by-one because I do seek order. Not that it worked for me within the psychotic Presbyterian Freakshow in the Fork, but no less…that’s another post. And it won’t be done decently and in order, for the record.

Now, the first one…

“It’s always rigged.”  I hope it is. I hope it is rigged so the idiots and sorry folks like you don’t get to cast an actual vote. Maybe there’s a “moron” button on that machine that the poll worker touches so that you can pretend to vote but it doesn’t really count.  No, of course I don’t think that’s the case. Well, not completely anyways. Yes, I do think it’s possible to rig elections even in our great nation. I especially think it’s the case when returns for the earlier time zones are announced prior to the later time zones’ polls even closing. And I think that’s no stretch given that the western part of the country is significantly more left-leaning that the rest of the country. But overall, I do think it is an honest process and that the will of the people, be they moronic and selfish at times as they are, does supercede any ill will.

“There’s no choice.” Are you kidding me? Uh… did you not see that in most races there were indeed two choices if not three or four? And you have no choice. “But I don’t want to vote the lesser of two evils.” Well, then, you just gave it away that you are choosing not to research your candidates and you therefore should not be in the ballot box. How about next time you just tell the truth. Instead of “There’s no choice” say, “I take my citizenship for granted and am too lazy to learn about the candidates.” I’d appreciate the truth. You do have a choice. Even if that choice is to stay home. You have a choice. If you choose NOT to learn the differences between candidates, then please do stay at home. I have never personally agreed with everything a candidate says. And in some cases, I am unhappy with all of the candidates. When I am unsatisfied or not educated, I don’t vote in that race. That easy. But I always have a choice. So do you.

“I can’t get away to vote.” occasionally this may be true. When business or a family obligation is unexpected and it’s too late for absentee voting and too early for early voting, then, yes, you have an excuse. BUT… most of us do NOT have an excuse. I personally believe only deployed service personnel should qualify for absentee voting and that early voting is a disgrace to the privilege and responsibility of voting. However, I am clearly in the minority on this. In addition to absentee and early voting, the polls in my state are open for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS. And most employers will allow a break for voting. No, no excuse. Again, I’d rather you tell me you are simply too sorry and ungrateful to fulfill this simple expectation.

And yes, my favorite…

“The lines are always too long.” Well, then. I’d personally rather wait in line with a posse of children for hours in safety than to never wait in a line but know I could be blown to smithereens or shot by a sniper as I left my polling place. We have an extreme amount of safety and freedom in our election process. The rest of the world does not, not even Europe. I can safely walk into my very active polling place with my family and know that we will be safe as we cast votes as citizens for fellow citizens to lead us. And it isn’t as if I am dodging bombs to get there. I am grateful. You should be, too. Suck it up.

No, not all the elections turned out like I’d like them to have been decided. But I know that I have earned the right to complain and express my frustration with those leaders because I did make the effort to affect the process. Did you earn the right to complain?