The day has come. If you've not voted yet, perhaps you'll be joining me at the polls today. Although we may not know the final results for all the races, including the popular vote in the Presidential race, we should have a good idea where things stand by at least tomorrow morning. Tomorrow the pundits will begin to analyze, but the phone calls will end, the emails disappear, the mailings dry up. That is, until the next election cycle begins.
Last night before going to bed I caught the tail end of President Obama's final campaign speech in Iowa. Standing before 20,000 folks at near midnight, he told the story he often told in 2008 about the woman who invited him to speak in South Carolina, in a little town a ways off the main road. But while there, he was roused by a chant led by a woman in the crowd. "Fired Up! Ready to Go!" That became the theme in 2008. We talked a lot about the audacity of hope and what the world would like like four years later. The road forward hasn't been as smooth as many would have liked. We were fired up and ready to go, but the obstacles to success were many. A poor economy at the beginning and a slower than expected recovery, partisan gridlock, political unrest in other parts of the world. Despite the challenges, much good has emerged. Health Care reform was enacted after a century of trying. The war in Iraq ended. The economy was pointed in the right direction. Now, we look at what might happen should the President be re-elected. What will be his legacy? And if not, what will we say about the future?
I'm "fired up, and ready to go." I'll be heading to the polls momentarily and I'll cast votes for important races and issues. I'll contribute my voice. Some of you will decide to stay home. Perhaps you'll do because of disenchantment or disillusionment. I hope that isn't your situation. I hope you don't opt out, but rather send a message, even if you don't feel anyone is listening. This will be a close election in many places. Important decisions will be made in the course of the next 2-4 years. Lend your voice. Others will stay home for ideological reasons -- that is, you don't believe it is appropriate to engage in political life. You may justify this on theological grounds. I disagree, but understand. But, I'll ask you to consider how you will contribute to the common good in any case.
I'll be casting my vote for Barack Obama. Others will vote for Mitt Romney or even a "third party" candidate." Whatever you decide -- let us remember this motto: "E Pluribus Unum!" We are diverse, but we are one!