Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vote to Enjoy a Glass of Francis Coppola Diamond Merlot 2004

November is almost upon us, time once again to vote. So weather you call, email or work a phone bank for your favorite candidate of change; make sure you remind everyone you know to get out and vote. Don't tell people to vote because it’s their civic duty, (nobody wants to think they have more work to do) remind them to vote because the voting process brings the community together.

When I was a kid I loved the energy at the polling place. We'd see all the neighbors, new and old. My parents would take time to chat with everyone there. If we ran into the old lady from next door she always give me a piece of candy from her purse. Sometimes I'd wait out front, playing with the pets who's owners where busy inside. Other times one of my parents would take me in the voting booth and actually let me pull the lever, showing me how I might vote someday. The grandness of that small event always made me feel like a piece of a special process. Wearing the little "I voted" sticker on the walk home always filled me with pride.

Unfortunately, these days that sticker doesn't seem to embody the same prestige. Like many people I don't even go to the polling station anymore, instead choosing to vote absentee. I miss my neighbors, their pets and the candy. But more than that, the older I get the smaller my vote seems. Some of what I read makes me wonder if my vote even counts. Voting can feel like a chore that won't hurt anybody if left undone. You are not alone, many of us have lost faith in what use to matter.

When I think back to what people here and around the world went through to get a vote I'm reminded how sacred the right to vote is. I urge you, talk with your friends, your neighbors or even strangers. Invite people out to celebrate their vote. That small act is part of the the history that made this country great. Maybe over the generations we forget, but when you talk to an immigrant like my father they remind us that through voting we can have a peaceful transfer of power in this country.

I plan to celebrate my vote over a glass of Francis Coppola Diamond Merlot 2004, more than the wine's great taste I like the "blue" label. I hope you too choose to celebrate your vote. If you wear your sticker I’ll be happy to pour you a glass.

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