Well, it’s finally upon us.
While voting has started or already taken place for many of you, for most of us next Tuesday will be the day when this unprecedented campaign season reaches some kind of end point. It is important, I think, to address one all-too-common complaint before that happens.
Throughout this prolonged process, I have heard one gripe just a little too often: I don’t like either candidate. Really? Look, by my count at least twenty-five people declared a candidacy for our highest office, and we have been narrowing that field down for too many months.
Dissatisfaction with the final choice strikes me about as lame as someone going to Applebee’s and slowly flipping through their 40-page menu and saying “I don’t see anything I like,” or standing in a 10-by-15 walk-in closet and moaning, “I don’t have anything to wear.”
To quote Socrates I think, “Tough beans.” I’ve checked the Constitution. And the Declaration of Independence. And the Magna Carta. And the Code of Hammurabi. And not once do any of them establish a right to be happy with your choices.
In fact, since we have made the lives of candidates pretty miserable throughout this process, a little agony on our part may be simple fair play.
Your duty and mine is clear: to go to the polls and make the best decision we can. Your motive does not matter. Your attitude does not matter. But your obligation to show up is, I believe, absolute. Our system is plagued with process problems, but in the end, the credit or blame will fall at our feet. Someone once said that in a democracy people tend to deserve their government.
If we fail in this one civic duty, we’ll deserve what we get.