Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why I Voted

I have some friends who refused to vote today for one of two main reasons: 1) The economic "irrationality" of voting. 2) The principled opposition that a vote endorses the legitimacy of the offices, authority, and/or the inherently unfair rules by which most candidates are chosen.

Mathematically speaking, the first objection is a solid one. The second objection I don't really subscribe to, though I am somewhat sympathetic to it in theory.

What trumps these, however, is all-too-simple for me:

My great-grandfather was born to a slave. My grandfather was born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1883. My father in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1928. None of these men were born with the expectation of voting rights at any point in their lives. I am of the first familial generation that was granted that right by people who never lived to exercise it.

So, while my friends have their rights to deny themselves a right my our forebears fought, bled, and died for--I proudly exercised my right to vote today.

Call me sentimental.


kateeyoungen said...

Good for you, Jonathan. May we all recognize the cost that was paid and the privilege we have.
-- Kathryn E.

JVLaB said...

Way to go, Blanks. I concur wholeheartedly, and it put Obama over the top for me (although the Octoroon wasn't on the DC ballot...) Enough with this silly liber'tard anti-voting shtick. - JVLaB

Jenny said...

Where did you find that photo?

JPB said...

Google'd it.

kmeleanthony said...

I'd not push aside the important history of suffrage in the US - and I suppose its just fine to vote because ones ancestors could not. My own assessment of the current election has led to my happily "sit this one out".

Given the opportunity to principally back a losing candidate, selecting between "the lesser of several evils" or write in "none of the above"; I stayed in, kept dry, and freely* went about the business of producing wealth for myself and my family.

In my own estimation, that's certainly a worthy tribute to all of my ancestors that never had such an opportunity. Self-ownership is sacrosanct, and sadly much of the American democratic process stands in opposition to fact. Whether suffrage be narrow or universal, a system that so easily supplants individual liberty by electoral outcomes leaves me less than inspired.

Unknown said...

perhaps your brief trip down mystery lane was a bit skewed..your Uncle my dad was the first elected official in Allen County government in the 1970's..perhaps before your birth..he also ran for mayor..not the first African-American in this town..but the one with a fighting chance..your dad ran for city council and was narrowly defeated I had to add my 2cents since he was on the R tix..he then schooled me on why in his brief explanations..the Blanks'..Ridley's..Ellis'..Pages'..Redd's..and the African-American churches made sure the banks understood their deposits could be counted by an African-American..hence my mom was the first teller hired in the city..with color..so actually you were the first what..man you need history familia history just to be accurate..and your voting idea..you in previous explanations have expressed your disapporval of many of the POTUS policies and programs..common sense tells you mitt a muff..the pauls no chance in hell..so what again is your point..

JPB said...


I know about the family history, but our parents' generations weren't *born* with the expectations to be able to vote. They exercised the franchise, as did grandma, I would bet, so I'm not saying we are the first generation to vote. We're of the first generation to be born with the unambiguous right to it. Read me closer.

Also, why do you keep bringing up the Pauls? I AM NOT A PAUL SUPPORTER. Never have been, not gonna be.