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The Midlife Sage Says: If You Didn’t Vote, Don’t Complain

I’ll be SO happy when the national election is over because we can go back to debating important issues, such as which wine to have with weinersnitchel.

After serious research and exploratory activities, I’ve concluded that you can be more liberal with a crisp white wine and then graduate to a more conservative red Cabernet. That way, everyone wins and no one starts throwing axes.

This campaign season has been grueling, and many of my Facebook friends stopped communicating with each other because of their fervent disagreements about which candidate could save the world and which would send us straight to Armageddon by Friday. A few decades ago, we discussed such issues over coffee around the kitchen table and then made a pie. Now, we broadcast our opinions on the World Wide Web for all time and eternity, and it will take more than a remarkable recipe to bring us back together to save the Republic.

I have voted in every election since 1972. Some of my candidates won and some lost. I’m proud to be part of of our American heritage that allows us to choose our leaders without having fear of being thrown into a dank dungeon for a few decades. And those who don’t vote don’t have any right to complain about the good and bad actions of our national leaders. If you are old enough to vote, it’s your responsibility to do so. Better yet, run for office and show the good ol’ boys how to do it.

Many young women don’t know that women in our country did not have the right to vote or hold office until 1920.

They also don’t know the hardships that our feisty women endured to fight for that right. On November 15, 1917, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, founders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, were arrested with 216 other women who had picketed the White House while demanding the right to vote. More than thirty of the women were arrested, chained, and beaten. We’ve come a long way since then, and if you don’t vote, expect these valiant voters to haunt your dreams.

This year I pushed my 85-year-old mother in her wheelchair to the voting polls. She was born only seven years after women got the right to vote and hasn’t missed an election in more than 60 years. After she voted, we celebrated with a cup of tea. She still laments that Dwight Eisenhower can’t run again for reelection, but she’s willing to give the new guy a chance. After all, it’s her civic duty and she wants to prepare for the future.


By Elaine Ambrose, a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.