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Is This Punk Giving Me a Voting Sermon?

Never fear, I do not intend to lecture everyone on why we should vote on November 2nd. Ok, this is a blatant lie, but work with me. The word lecture is anathema, maybe here more than anywhere. So a lecture this will not be. Let’s just call it a verbal spanking for those who choose to give up their freedom by exercising their freedom not to vote. Irony, you rascal!

Statistics matter, and statistics say your vote doesn’t matter. How could anyone be so na‹ve to think that one vote makes a difference? Sure, Florida was close in 2000, but George Bush officially won its popular vote by 537 votes (unofficially, he probably lost. Side note for the bitter: Ralph Nader received 97,488 votes). In most states, the difference is thousands upon thousands. And even if you win the popular vote, you could still lose. Al Gore received over 500,000 more votes than George Bush in the 2000 election, which almost drove Gore to set fire to the Electoral College.

Note to readers: Al Gore is not an arsonist, nor is the Electoral College an actual college, at least I don’t think it is.

So it’s black and white, your vote don’t mean diddly. Case closed. Door’s shut. Cookie jar’s empty. Case closed again. You’re fired (I detest you Trump, how do you work your way into an article that has nothing to do with you at all?).

Yet, for banter’s sake, let’s suppose I thought our votes did matter. I’d probably say this:

Those of us who vote do so for different reasons – to practice our civic duty, to revel in our freedom, or maybe just because we like one candidate and don’t like the other. Underlying it all is one conviction: the little things we do have the greatest impact and mean the most.
Some analogies. Did you give someone directions today? You’re a queen for doing it. Because of you, that person found his way. Did you say thank you to someone today? You’re a prince of a man if you did, because it put her in a good mood. Did you console? Did you advise? Did you laugh? Those are little things, but they are the fabric of our lives.
For those who want to puke on this fluff, let me put it in business titan terms. Alfred Sloan thinks little things matter. So does Toyota.

A vote symbolizes that the little things we do make a difference. I’m not saying it because I want to believe it, I’m saying it because I do believe it. The people that represent us make decisions every day that ripple through America and affect us all in one way or another. Every day, we do the same thing. Here’s just one more opportunity to make another little decision with tremendous implications.

Is this just gratuitous optimism run amuck? Maybe. But it’s my right and privilege to be optimistic. And I’ll say one other cheesy thing before I wrap this puppy up. There is nothing wrong with letting America inspire you.

So forget statistics. Ignore the data. Throw it out the window because numbers never tell the whole story. Go vote. Because everything we do and everything we don’t do matters. Everything.

October 25, 2004
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