Every election cycle comes with its own unique set of issues, challenges, gaffes, unlikeable characters, unrealistic policy statements, ugly campaign ads, truth-stretching, blunders, and general craziness, but this one has been the worst and weirdest thing I’ve experienced in my life as an American voting citizen.
Some people are so worn down by it all, they just want it to be over already. I get that. For better or worse, I’m looking forward to not having to see/listen to one more campaign ad or robo call come November 9. I’m hoping that, once the lawn signs come down, civility will start creeping back into at least my neighborhood, if not society at large.
That said, and I'm not sure if it’s in spite of or maybe even because of all that’s been said and done in the runup to November 8, I can’t wait to go to my voting station and cast my ballot. There’s the fate of the free world in the balance, of course, with the presidency up for grabs.
But there are also a whole slew of other candidates and issues on the ballot, many of whom and which can and will affect your livelihood. Just in Massachusetts, we have a gaming initiative (potential effect on venue), a farm animal law (potential effect on F&B), and non-medical marijuana legalization (sort of F&B, but definitely something planners would have to think about for meetings here).
If you’re a traditionalist like me who likes to opt for the hubub of voting on election day instead of voting early—get out and vote. Even if you hate wading through the sign-wavers and waiting in line to get your ballot, get out and vote. And no, I don’t care if you don’t like either candidate, or if you like one of the ones I won’t be voting for (though my choice is the only sensible one, obviously!).
People around the world are fighting and dying for a chance to have a say in who their leaders will be and the laws that affect their lives, and yet all too often in the U.S., we don’t make that really quite small effort.
And it is such a small effort, a few strokes of a pen—and yet it’s also one of the most powerful acts we can do. Take advantage of it. It's our right, our duty, our honor, and our country.
See you at the polls!