The People, The Pundits and The Politicians

I voted.  I stood in a line wrapped around a building and had plenty of time to think about the significance of the moment.  I met several people who were in line too.  A young Hispanic woman stood behind me excited about casting her first ballot. Those of us around her applauded her decision and gave insight to calm her anxiety.  

A retired teacher and a Jewish Lawyer stood in front of me.  The former educator was about 20 years older than the lawyer and me and told us about the first air conditioners installed in Texas schools. Our conversation was interrupted when an elderly African American woman exited the voting booth.  She was at least ninety-years-old and could barely walk, but she smiled from ear-to-ear excited about casting her vote.  Noticing her struggle to stand, a young Hispanic man in his early twenties, ran to help her.  He propped her up and positioned her against his chest, allowing her to lean on him as she waited for her daughter to return with their car.   

The line was filled with voters from every walk of life—seemingly good and hardworking people.  What struck me was the contrast between the political climate of the people and that of the pundits and the politicians.  For months, we’ve watched the pundits–experts who represent our most knowledgeable political minds—yell and shout over each other— demanding their points and opinions be heard. We’ve witnessed politicians who, for a vote, stretch the truth and exaggerate statements in ways that cast a disparaging light on the opposing candidate.  Yet, the people—yes, REAL AMERICANS—Educators, Lawyers, Students, Ministers, Business Owners, Football Moms, Doctors, Police, Architects, and Plumbers—stood in line respecting the right of each person to vote their convictions.  There was no arguing, berating, or mudslinging.  There were no accusations of lack of patriotism, morality, or faith.  There were no last minute fear tactics or desperate attempts to malign.  There was none of that!  After months of being subjected to the worse example of conflict management and jockeying for position, it was the people who stood under the hot Texas sun demonstrating the discipline, restraint, orderliness, respect, and virtue expected from our political process.     

I came out of the voting booth and observed a new group lined around the building.  Still chatting.  Still peaceful.  Still respectful.  Still waiting with dignity for their turn to voice their choice and cast their vote.  I looked around and sighed with relief that someone still had sense in the midst of so much nonsense!  I clung to my ticket and walked to my car—truly proud to be an American.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “The People, The Pundits and The Politicians

  1. There is a lot I could say about this post, but you’ve addressed something close to my heart and that is actually going to vote, standing with other citizens of every type to cast a ballot. I have always felt a special reverence for that moment, not of casting my vote, even as much as SHARING this ability with all Americans. Since the first time I gathered with others, I have felt the shadow of those who came before who allowed me this privilege and felt connected and as American as I ever do. Although I love the Internet and what it has brought to me personally as well as the world, I do not like the thought of giving up standing in line with my fellow Americans. Just the other day I was talking to a friend who told me she had mailed in her ballot. All I could ask was, “Why?”

  2. drcarolynmiller

    Lynn, thank you for your comments. It made me think even more deeply about my experiences—and standing in a peaceful line to vote is one of the times in which I feel the pride, the right, and the privilege of being American. —On a lighter note, the other times occur when I return from out of country and stand in line at the airport with a blue passport in hand. That’s when I really want to belt out the Star Spangled Banner! :))

  3. Kara Elliott

    I agree with Lynn and absolutely love the post. I’m not a fan of long lines but voting is worth standing in line. I don’t want to ever find out what it’s like to not be allowed to vote. God Bless America.

  4. Dr. Carolyn, your observations are beautiful. They remind me of Maya Angelou’s quote, “We are more alike than unalike.”

    I admit it is disheartening to see the behavior of our top candidates engaging in negative campaigning, sure seems to be the same election after election…we haven’t learned negativity doesn’t work! 🙂

    Blessings,
    RH

  5. drcarolynmiller

    I don’t want to find out either, Kara. This is one of those few times when I feel the longer the line, the better!

  6. drcarolynmiller

    RH…thank you, my friend!

  7. Zandra Rutledge

    Yes it is great to know that someone still has sense. I just wish the candidates would stick to talking about the issues instead of slinging mud. I am glad that we as people can still stand next to each other not based on their political decisions.

  8. This is a lovely blog, Dr. Carolyn. Such a different perspective than those so widely reported about this election. It’s times like these that make people realize how similar we all really are. It’s a shame that bad times have to be upon us before we can fully realize what we carry in our hearts all the time.

  9. drcarolynmiller

    Thank you, Vanessa. I agree… sometimes it takes a little pressure…a change… to make us aware of the obvious.

  10. Patricia

    Dr. Carolyn, This is such an inspiratational blog. Your prespective has helped me expand my world view.

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