Tuesday, November 07, 2006


(First, the disclaimer. As many of you have figured out, I don't always sleep the most regular hours. This is why you get responses to e-queries at 4 am or similarly, blog posts. I'm not going to go into the reasons why my sleep schedule is messed-up because the blog readership simply doesn't need to know them--likewise, please don't offer me any techniques to avoid insomnia, etc, because I'm not looking for them. That said, the reason that I'm up right now is because I've been thinking about the election. I have tried to keep LIT SOUP fairly apolitical, since it's a business blog, and I don't necessarily believe in browbeating my politics into people's heads. Just the same, I have never made any secret of the fact that I am a registered Democrat and happy to be one. Now the actual post, which is directed at American citizens...)

Regardless of your political orientation, please go out today and vote. This is not a presidential election, so it may seem like it isn't as important. But it is dreadfully important, since it will determine who controls Congress for the next two years. Our nation was built as one with checks and balances, and our Congressional representatives are just as vital to the health and future of this country as any president is. In fact, I would argue that they are more vital than the executive branch, since only they are the ones that make the laws which govern this country.

Naturally, I would jump for joy if the Democrats regained control of one or both houses of Congress, since I'm not a fan of President Bush. But I am not urging you to go out and vote in order to make that happen.

You should vote because you are an American, and it is your civil right and duty to do so. By exercising your voting power, you are sending a clear message that you care enough about America to get off your ass and make your voice heard. One of the worst things that can happen in a democracy is apathy, which leads to discontent and bad governance. Poor political leaders get elected when a populace does not care enough about who governs its nation.

As an American citizen, it is absolutely inexcusable not to vote. We are a country founded upon political and civil principles, chief among them that it is the American people who ultimately rule this nation through the aegis of their elected leaders. We are not a nation of kings or queens, we are not a country where any one citizen is valued above another by virture of their birth. We are a democratic republic which has lasted for 230 years, and which will only continue to last as long as its people practice and preserve its Constitution and the tenets contained within.

There is only one way to do this.

You must stand up and move away from the computer. Put on your shoes and a coat. Walk out your front door and get yourself to your local polling place. Vote for whoever and whichever political party you want, but don't deny yourself the chance to have a say in your own country. We are all individuals, and each and every one of our votes matters.

My local polling place opens at 6 am, and ten minutes before that I'm going to put on my shoes and coat, and walk out my front door. I am going to vote because I am proud to be an American and I am proud of my country, no matter what its leaders have done. I am going to vote because my parents took me into the voting booths with them, when I was a young child, and taught me the importance of what they were doing. I am going to vote because I still want to have a country and a place to vote in, when I have young children of my own to teach. I am going to vote because I want my voice to be heard. And I am going to vote because I could not live with myself, if I did not.


The Home Office said...

There is a great difference between apolitical and apathetic. Your post was well put and made an important point, regardless of political affiliation. (Even if I do think my Republican senatorial candidate is a weasel who'd lie about the time of day just to keep in practice.) Oops, did that last comment come out?

Anonymous said...

And if it helps anyone get out the door...

We non-Americans kinda raise our eyebrows at how low your voter turn-outs occasionally are. Really, if you're not voting, you should be ashamed of yourself; it makes your country look bad in our eyes.

America is supposed to be the champion of democracy, right? So get to the polling station and be part of that. It's something to be proud of, but only if you're actually involved. GO VOTE.

kitty said...

This picture says it all.

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear you're a Democrat, but impressed, nevertheless, by your thoughtful post. ;)

I am in a state of high frustration, having just returned from the polls myself. One of the voting machines was down and the line was ridiculously long. After having given my ID and signed my name, I ended up leaving because I didn't have the time to stand in line for more than an hour. Places to go, appointments to keep.

I'll have to go back later. And I'm feeling terribly grumpy about it!

And...and...and...it's raining!

But I'm proud to be an American, too. :)

Bernita said...

WWell said.
Claims and proof of voter apathy is a dangerous tool in the hands of those who want to restructure democracy.
Even if you spoil your frigging ballot - go vote.

thraesja said...

I agree wholeheartedly.
Women- how many of your predecessors were arrested because they championed women's suffrage?
Men- why did you rebel against a monarchy if you don't support the democracy that followed?
Minorities- don't let the civil rights movement mean nothing more than a seat on the bus.
Immigrants- remember why you came to a country that would give you a voice.
Teach your children why voting is important. Don't let an hour's laziness put you into that obscenely high percentage of apathetic Americans that the rest of the world is baffled by. People die every day to have the rights you do.
Remember, only those who vote have the right to complain about the government. The rest of you did it to yourselves.

katiesandwich said...


Not a Democrat, but not a Republican, either; I agree and disagree with things on both sides, so I'd totally be a hypocrite if I joined either party.

My husband says that if the party's colors are blue or red, they can't be trusted. Ha!

Seriously, though, not voting is not good! If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about a damn thing in this country. We have this awesome ability to have a say in our nation's politics, and yet so many people don't vote because as long as they get to continue with their lives, they don't care what's happening in Congress. This train of thought is very reminiscent of the way things were in Germany before Hitler's rise. I'm serious. If people don't take an active role in the part our leaders play, they could be responsible for something I don't even want to think about. I could go on and on. Just had this conversation yesterday, so it's still fresh in my mind. But I can't stick around here all day. I've got to go get my "I voted today!" sticker!

Jenny Rappaport said...

We have no "I voted" stickers in NJ (or at least, I've never gotten one), but we do have nice poll workers and the *good* kind of electronic voting machines... i.e., not the Diebold ones from the news. Not that I'm saying that the electronic voting machines we do have are perfect, but I have a slightly higher degree of trust in them.

James Dashner said...

Well said. I read somewhere that a hundred and something countries have higher voter turnout than we do. Sad.

My belated congrats to Jenny and Jordan for the sale. Wahoo!!!!

Anonymous said...

Every year my Dad brought me to the polling place with him when he voted. He showed me that it was important. Every election, I bring my two boys with me when I vote. If they are in school, I wait until the school day is done. It's important.

resurrectedwarrior said...

*applauds* Awesome post. Today is my second election since coming of age and I'm really excited. Voting rocks!

J. F. Margos said...

Hoo ya, Jenny!

Jordan Summers said...

I'm heading out after the lunch rush. :D

Sam said...

Voting from overseas is an adventure - I get to vote early too - about two weeks earlier than you guys (nanananaaa!)LOL.

Richard White said...


I'm glad to see you and many other of the bloggers that I read encouraging people to go out and vote today.

Regardless of which candidate or cause you support, everyone has a duty to make themselves heard. Otherwise, you've got no grounds to grouse afterwards. If you sit at home, then you deserve the government (federal, state, local) that you get.

Jenny, as a former soldier, I'm happy to see people interested in what the heck is going on in the country. While I'm a little off-put by the rancor on both sides of the fence, I think discussion and debate are what this country needs (not screaming, yelling and name-calling, thank you).

So, get off your duffs and go vote, if you haven't already!

mdn said...

Great post. I could not agree more. I live in a city and state so blue it resembles an ink stain on political maps, and though I am just a little red dot, and not a single one of the candidates I support has any chance of winning, I got up early this morning and voted anyway. It's a bit quixotic, perhaps, but voting is important and it makes me feel connected to our democracy. If my role is purely one of dissent this time around, I'm cool with that.

kiwi said...

Great post; Jenny for President! (it’s just a shame you haven’t got the millions of dollars to make it happen ... at least not yet (congrates on your latest sale)).

And since your present administration seems bent on bringing American hegemony to the rest of the world, I think we should all get to vote! Go democrats; Congress and the Senate today, the White house in 08! (Just not “foot-in-mouth” Kerry, please.)

mdn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ben S. D. said...

I have to agree, but I'm ashamed to say I never kept up with things enough to vote.

The thing is, I believe the ignorant vote is twice as bad as the non-vote. If I went down there today, I might as well play eenie-meenie-miney-moe with the candidates. I've just had a ridiculously hectic year, a tough time of things here and there, and while I KNOW that's a cop-out, my ignorant vote would be worse than useless.

I'm not exactly apolitical, but I do believe the entire science is inherently flawed simply because it's entirely conceived by man. There's no answers or solutions, and there never can be. However, it's what we base our civilizations on...even though I will continue to favor the pursuit of real truths and mysteries in this world. ;) Just a preference.

But of course, Jenny's post makes perfect sense. It's how we built this country and it's the very concept of democracy. For it to survive, there really can't be too many people like me. ;)

katiesandwich said...

Yes, I believe that voting in ignorance is as bad as not voting at all. So make it a point not to be a political moron. I'm not saying you should bury yourself in politics, but come on. We live in this country, and we ought to know what's going on over here. We all have issues that matter to us deeply, and we should at least know where the candidates stand on these issues. Is the system flawed? Well, hell yeah, it is! I'll be the first one to admit that. But how do you expect the system to change if you don't do something about it? We live in an age of information, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to familiarize yourself with what's out there. Really. It doesn't. In fact, to get a basic idea of where the candidates stood on the issues I cared about, it took me about as much time as I spent blogging today. So yeah. Over here on Eastern time, it's too late to vote, but I hope you will next time.

In other news, my son stole my "I voted today!" sticker. Sob. He was so cute, though. He plucked it off my shirt and then couldn't figure out how to get it off his hand. He just kept waving his hand in the air and wiggling his fingers... It was so adorable!

word ver: orzaih
Doesn't that sound like a good name for a fantasy character?

Joe said...

My five-year-old son wanted to go with me to vote today. He promised to be good, so I let him come. He was fascinated by the whole thing. He kept asking how we'd know who won the governership (in Arkansas,) when we'd know, etc. Pretty neat! And I'm happy to say that our guy (Democrat Mike Beebe) looks like he's going to pull it off!

LadyBronco said...

Well said!
I truly believe that the freedom to vote for what we believe in is one of the purest freedoms we have in America.
And remember ~ if you don't vote, don't you dare complain if things don't go the way you want. You had your chance to make a difference!

kiwi said...

Well done America, I’m sure I won’t be the only non-American who will be saluting you this morning.

Zany Mom said...

If only all of those people who whine 'my vote doesn't count, anyway' would get off of their collective arses and vote, who knows what sorts of changes could be affected?

I stood in [the wrong] line for an hour last night in order to vote and had no thoughts of 'it's not worth it, maybe I'll just go home and get dinner.'

Good post.

Anonymous said...

No one cares about your sleep habits or your political pursuasion. Keep it clean! Stick to the writing craft.

kiwi said...

Hmmm ... I'm thinking a disgrunted republican supporter. I mean only the seriously ethnocentric are arrogant enough to presume to speak for 'everyone'.

Perhap's Rumsfeld has found himself a new job?

Jenny Rappaport said...

anonymous, not to be bitchy, but this is my blog and I'll speak about whatever I want to on it. You can choose not to read it, if you want.

Tempest Knight said...

It's good to see democracy working. Hope you all Americans have a good day voting.

kiwi said...

Anonymous ... you want to be very careful linking the kind of material you have using a statement made by a published author in a public forum. Good thing I comment anonymously too, or I’d happily spend money to sue your idiot to say nothing of cowardly ass.

And the notion that democrats feed terror—the irony is killing me. Foreign policy under the Clinton administration had its flaws and failings, no argument there. But foreign policy under George W Bush has been akin to putting out fire with gasoline—plain idiotic. Christ, he’s pretty much pissed off the entire world in his attempt to secure the production of middle East oil and billion dollar contracts and markets for his corporate friends. Hell the only thing monkey-boy has successes at is being a poster boy for radical Islam.

I mean, lets face it, if monkey-boy was actually concerned about bringing democracy to the tyrannized masses of the global village, there are plenty of tin-pot dictators in Africa and Asia he could try and topple. Oh, but I forget, there’s no oil of worth in Africa (at least none that is easily got at under the ‘war on terror’ pretense/pretext). And Asia, ah, yes, Asia, well, western democracies (including my own) need their markets so we don’t want any more instability there. And then there’s the little matter of the Vietnam War nagging in the collective consciousness (to say nothing of the parallels with present day Iraqi), and then there's North Korea’s nuclear capability … noticed monkey-boy ran quickly back to the UN over that one (typical bully).

And lets not forget which end of the political spectrum financed Osama bin Laden during his mujhadeen days in Afghanistan. Hate to say it, but if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

On the international stage, the Democrats now have a unique opportunity to begin the long process of restoring the tarnished image of western democracy in the eyes of the world. Come 08, and I expect this opportunity will be reinforced.

Sorry about dumping this here, Jenny. I felt I had a right to defend myself. I take offence to my words being mis-used like this. If you want my comments removed, just say so, and I'll oblige. I would much appreciate it if you could remove the link to this cartoon on your blog.

Jenny Rappaport said...

kiwi, I am deleting the link to the cartoon, particularly because I find it offensive. People are free to discuss their viewpoints, but keep it civil and keep it calm.

kiwi said...

Sorry, Jenny, I was a little pissed-off. Thank you for removing the link. These sorts of caricatures can only inflame.

And on my part, I apologize to you and any republicans who read your blog for the unnecessary remarks I made about George W Bush. It’s the politics not the man, I oppose.

Anonymous said...

Monkey-boy ?

Thank you madam for that fascinating lesson in our cultural differences.

James Dashner said...

I bet Kiwi's daddy could beat up anonymous's daddy. Or vice versa. One of those two.

Kiwi, I'd vote for you.

I'm very ashamed of myself this year. I always, always vote, but had something come up at the end of the day that prevented me this time around. I am one of the lowly Americans who did not vote in 2006.

By the way, I'm a Repubocrat. Or is it Demoblican? I think both sides are extreme and make themselves look like fools all the time. I hope 2008 brings us a candidate that I can truly like, not because of their party, but because of who they are and what they believe in.

Oh, who am I kidding? All I really care about is who's gonna die in my next chapter. Happy writing, all!