election night

as disappointed as i've been with the election coverage, there is something that i am celebrating tonight. we as americans are so fortunate to live in a country with a civilized (and i use that term loosely) government. what i mean by civilized is that no blood shed is needed for a change of power to occur. sure there's some mud that is slung, and of course there are whoppers spoken from the stump... but all in all, the transfer of power is peaceful and respectful.

now, i'm not waiving my flag as i sit here on the couch watching election results. and i won't be belting out a refrain of that awful lee greenwood ditty. i still believe there are real problems with our political system. i can't deny the inevitable character flaws of anyone who is able to claw himself to such a position of power that the presidency is an option. and the limiting nature of our two-party system often leaves "joe the voter" fruitlessly grasping for a candidate that accurately represents his point of view. but, what i love about our country is that i have the right to voice those concerns. and i have no fear that my life, my job, or my family is in jeopardy when i do. heck, i even have hope that we as a country could make improvements! call me a naive optimist, but i believe it's possible.

see, i had a moment in the last few days, amidst all the confusion and turmoil of choosing who i wanted to be president less, to stop and think. i came to realize how incredible it is that i get to have a say in who governs this country. it is an honor that our voices are actually heard. and the good stuff doesn't stop there. it is pretty darn cool that once given the power of the executive branch, men will step down when their term is up! it hasn't happened that way too often in history. and certainly doesn't happen like that everywhere in the world today. without a bloody civil war, power is passed between individuals and political parties. think about it...given our human thirst for power, that is really impressive. and you know, even our campaigning is civil (again loose usage of the word). once the voting public speaks, one candidate quietly bows out of the race. the two don't have to fight a duel to the death and neither is run out of the country fearing for his life. the loser graciously accepts that it isn't his turn to wear the crown and steps aside. (though i would, just once, like for a candidate giving a concession speech to really let loose and rail against the winner ~ or better yet, what if the outgoing president was to address the nation by pointing out what a mistake we've made by electing so-and-so!?!? now, that would be priceless).

anyway, regardless of who gets to sit in the oval office for the next 4 years, i say election day is pretty cool. tonight, i marvel at a constitutional republic in action. i'm letting go of all the yuckiness that the campaign season heaped on me. instead, i humbly treasure my citizenship and the voice it provides me. and i say without sarcasm that i feel blessed to be an america citizen.

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