Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Between me and God...

David Sedaris wrote an excellent piece in the New Yorker about voting, well it was actually about undecided voters but he had a great anecdotal paragraph about his mother and the voting booth.

Shouts & Murmurs: Undecided: Humor: The New Yorker

I don't remember the first time I voted with my mom. And she may have let me switch the levers and pull the curtain handle but she sure as heck didn't let me make her choice. If it was my mom voting, it was for a Republican, just like her doting father served as in our city. Now, in hindsight, I think voting for her was like a cemetery visit or a trip through well worn photos. And despite being the least private person I've ever know, the woman made a public hallway announcement when my sister had her first period, she wouldn't tell anyone who got her vote. We'd get home and my dad would ask and every single time my mom would reply, "none of your business Joe, my vote is between me and God." I'd like to think the word damn was in there but I'm probably projecting.
As I did with my mom in my youth, until I was old enough to understand what each lever meant hence no longer welcome to share the moment with her, my children have accompanied me to the booth. And like Sedaris' mom in moments of utter ignorance about certain candidates I've let my kids play pick the lever. Terrible I know. And it may well be the case this coming Tuesday. But one thing for sure, God willing, my children will know that on that day we'll be pushing one little lever for Barack Obama. They'll know after centuries of non-citizenship for blacks to hard fought second class citizenship and finally a U.S. Presidential nominee, they shared a piece of history to hopefully elect a fine citizen and the first African-American President of the United States of America.

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