I am no political expert.
In fact, I’m probably furthest from that. However, I do like to keep myself pretty well informed. Especially because Election Day is now less than a week away. And seeing as this was one h*ll of a presidential campaign run, it’s hard not to want to be well-informed.
(Sidenote: It’s times like this, that I reaaallly miss Tim Russert. He just had an excellent way of explaining politics that made it fascinating. Election night coverage will not be the same without him …)
Anyways, I strongly believe in the right to vote. After all, democracy (and, a-hem … not free market) is what this country was founded on. And while I agree that campaigning is needed in order to promote a candidate’s platform, I don’t agree when someone tries to tell you how to vote. That, of course, does not mean that people aren’t allowed to debate with each other about who they support or don’t support a particular candidate.
Let me reiterate that one more time. I don’t agree when someone tries to tell you how to vote.
And why am I bringing this up now? Well of course, it’s because I have a story to tell.
Last Tuesday I dropped my parents off at the airport. They were on their way to Turkey and Greece to participate on a tour based on the travels of St. Paul. (Uh huh … you probably already know where this is going.) Because my car has been acting up, I suggested that we take their car to the airport. That way they could pack the car while waiting for me to drive over to their house.
So the drive to the airport was a smooth ride. So smooth that I considered “borrowing” their car for the two weeks they would be away. Never mind that she had a rosary (and a Franciscan Tau) hanging off her rear view mirror … I would have totally “borrowed” it for a couple weeks. The conversation was light. As we just got back from my cousin’s wedding, we talked about how great it was to be in the same room with everyone again.
It wasn’t until we got to the airport curb where the main part of my story takes place. As we were pulling out their luggage from the trunk, I glanced down at the bumper sticker that she’s had on her bumper forever (“Love a Franciscan: 2B1 Ask 1″) and chuckled like I always did when I spotted it. (As I’ve said in the past, my mom is very strong in her Catholic faith.) But then I glanced to the right of that sticker and saw a “Vote No on Proposal 2” bumper sticker. (More on Prop 2 in a bit.)
After helping them unload their luggage, I turned to give Dad a hug and kiss. And as I lean in to give my mom her hug, she pushes my hair off my shoulder and whispers in my ear, “Don’t forget to vote for McCain. And don’t forget to vote No on 2.” In which I promptly kissed her on her cheek and wished her a safe and fun trip. I briefly shook my head afterwards and thought, “Yup, should have seen that coming.”
For those of you that aren’t familiar, Michigan’s Prop 2 is a proposal to allow for embryonic stem cell research within the state. In the past, my mom and I have had conversations about stem cell research. My mom, of course being a devout Catholic does not support any type of stem cell research (and yes, of course she’s a “Right to Life” person as well).
And myself? Well the truth is, I’m still trying to determine how I feel about it; which is exactly what I told her. And that’s because of my own personal experience with our one and only IVF cycle and the one lone blastocyte that was left for us to freeze (to see what happened to that one embie … click here).
However, after that little bit at the airport … I felt myself fighting off every urge to vote Yes, just to cancel out her vote. But I won’t do that. I will make an informed, unbiased decision before November 4th. And I will make it based on my own opinions.
And I won’t let her (or anyone else, for that matter) know how I voted either.
Because while I support the need to campaign and to rally for whatever (or whomever) you’re voting on (or for) … and while I don’t hold anything against those that openly show how (or who) they’re voting … I personally believe that my vote is confidential.
The important thing is that everyone should go out and vote. For no other reason than BECAUSE YOU CAN.
As for whether or not I decided to “borrow” the car for a couple weeks … well, as you can guess, I decided against it. The icing on the cake was when I had no choice but to head straight to my doctor’s appointment after being stuck in the mid-morning rush hour traffic.
Which doctor and for which appointment, you might ask? Well, of all things … it was my first appointment with my new OB/Gyn.
Uh, so yeah. I hid the car at the back of the lot. I so didn’t feel like getting into it with any person who may be for or against Proposal 2.