Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today it matters

Obama signs in front yards.I first voted in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary in the spring of 1980. It was, in fact, the first time I ever voted. As I recall, I cast my vote for Ted Kennedy, who was challenging then President Jimmy Carter. That’s not the choice I would make today. But my vote didn’t matter anyway. By the time the Pennsylvania primary rolled around the contest had already been decided.

Since then, in the nearly thirty years that have followed, I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote in the primary. And since then, it’s never really mattered. The contests are always decided by the time they get to Pennsylvania. Except this year. Except today.

Today I get to cast my vote in a contest that very much does matter. As anyone who has paid any attention to the news in the last six weeks knows, the outcome of today’s vote in Pennsylvania could profoundly affect the race for the Democratic nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It could even, for all intents and purposes, decide it.

My neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia is prime country for the senator from Illinois. Obama signs are as prevalent in front yards as daffodils and dandelions.

Down in west Philly, at the university where I work, the students have been campaigning mostly for Obama as well. (Though Hillary Clinton has her contingent of ardent supporters too.)

It is great to see so much enthusiasm for the election – and how cool that it comes hand-in-hand with the onset of spring. But what is most encouraging to me is the energy and dedication of these kids who were not even born yet when I first got to vote. I have a lot of faith in their generation. They are far more open-minded, and accepting of differences than any of the generations that preceded them. And they are willing to step up and take charge. I think it bodes well for the future of this country.


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Oh no.......I think I missed early voting!?!?

I love this photo though......

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to Vote!!! It counts and it does matter!!!