Not too many years ago people would say to me - don't complain - you didn't vote. And my reply would be that I didn't have to vote to be able to complain, that's what's great about the United States - free speech extends even to people that don't vote!
I thought I was a democrat because at some time in my life I remembered someone (no idea who) telling me that democrats were the party of the working man, and republicans were for the rich. So I must be a democrat, right?
Then September 11th happened.
Suddenly I paid attention. I found myself drawn to the news, day in and day out. Suddenly, people who I rolled my eyes at in the past when they said they were political junkies started to make sense to me. I was hooked and I realized - I wasn't a democrat. Not sure I'm actually a republican either but much more on the right than the left. It took the next few years for me to realize what I believed and who I believed in and to form strong enough opinions to confidently feel like I could vote as an informed member of the electorate.
In November of 2004 I voted in my first election, ever. And I voted with both of my children who were voting in their first national elections. We went together.
Every citizen in this nation has the right to vote. But I sincerely wish that if they cannot say they are truly informed - they would wait to vote until they are. Especially in this election. It is too important to be a popularity contest or a response to the slickest campaign.
I'm glad I didn't vote before I educated myself. Because I wouldn't have been voting for the right reasons or with the correct information.
I mean really - the People of Walmart vote. It's scary out there.