Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Election Day

OK, I went out and voted yesterday, and a part of me is proud of that.

It’s more than just my civic duty, though. It’s a commandment. I really do look on it as if it were a religious experience.

I’m not talking lights coming down from the sky and voices telling me who to vote for. I mean that voting is a part of my religion, and a part of my overall religious practice.

Before anyone starts in on me, I’m also not saying that I blindly rely on anyone else’s opinions on who I should vote for. The fact that I voted mostly Democratic in Utah proves that!

Joseph Smith, long ago, wrote: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” –A of F 12

Even longer ago, in ancient America, the people of Mosiah set up a democracy. And with that democracy, Mosiah gave them a warning: “Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.” -Alma 10:19

In other words, we get what we vote for. And part of what we’re voting for is so that things good and right can be preserved in our land. Right? We go out an vote so that we can do our part to make sure that the men and women that govern this great country are people of integrity and great moral character. Right?

Well, yeah, but that’s not the coolest reason to vote.

What is? I’ll tell you!

The right to complain!

When you step out of the booth (after dutifully checking for any hanging or pregnant chads), you drop your ballot in the box and they give you a cool little, “I Voted Today” sticker. It should also read, “…so that means I can gripe tomorrow!”

Truer words were never so smugly implied.

Deep inside the core of me is my inner child. And my inner child isn’t the sweet little cherub with the teddy bear and the puppy-dog eyes. My inner child is an annoying, whiny, little snit that likes to pout and throw tantrums.

So, how do I give him a socially acceptable outlet? What area of interest could I possibly pursue to give him expression in a way that would not only be understood, but welcomed and even embraced?

Politics! Of course!

Where else but in our great august bodies of legislature and in the corridors of power would you find others he could fit in so well with? Like a fish in a school, like birds of a feather, etc…

That’s why I love a good mud-slinging, name-calling, trash-talking, in your face campaign. One that leaves the “winner” more embarrassed than the “loser”. It’s like the WWF for the thinking man!

And for that we (my inner child and I) are eternally grateful to our founding fathers.

Mark Hansen

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