November 6, 2012

...America's choosing day....

Some of my earliest November memories are of the days my mother would walk to our neighborhood school and serve as an election official.  My parents were both deeply patriotic, and they strongly believed that one of the best ways to honor the sacrifices of those who had lived before us was to exercise our freedom to vote.  After a long and contentious season of debates, political ads, commercials, talk shows and heated letters to the editor election day has arrived, or as Walt Whitman phrased it, America's choosing day.  I love that phrase--today we have the right to choose the path that America will follow for the next four years.  Today we come to the polls to vote, but tomorrow let us come together as Americans, no longer divided by party but united by dreams for our families' futures. 

Election Day, November 1884
Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
’Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:
—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadrennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d-sea-board and inland-Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, if that could be true! If both sides would just work together for the common good.