Posted by: SJS | October 30, 2018

“Did you vote?”

PT 367 of Ron 27 in 1945

PT 367 ready for action

There were few things Red enjoyed more than a spirited discussion (aka- a heated argument).  Whether the topic was sports, religion, or politics,  my father relished the give-and-take on the major topics of the day.  He had a good career in sales but I’ve often wondered if he would’ve been happier as a lawyer arguing cases in a courtroom in front of a judge.  By temperament, inclination, and personality, Red was well suited to a career that involved disputation.

While I can’t remember whether the setting was a family gathering or a discussion with a neighbor,  I do have a distinct recollection of the topic on that long ago day in Philly.  Red and his interlocutor were engaged in an intense dialogue about the results in the aftermath of an election.  To say their opinions diverged widely would be a massive understatement.  The temperature of the conversation was rising rapidly.  I have to confess that I was enjoying the debate, especially since I wasn’t on the receiving end of Red’s barbed comments.

Then my father asked, “did you vote?”

“No,” said the other guy.

“Discussion over.  We’re done now,” said Red.

“What? Oh, come on…” said the other guy.

“I’m not going to waste my time talking politics with some deadbeat who doesn’t even bother to vote,” said Red.

“That’s ridiculous!” said the other guy.  He clearly had no idea who he was tangling with that day.  I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next.

“You’re ridiculous yourself,” said my father.  “I served in Europe and the South Pacific to protect our way of life and you can’t even get off your fat ass to vote? I lost buddies in the Med and the Philippines and you can’t bother to exercise your right to vote?  I’m not wasting my time with slackers like you.”

And that was that.  I’ve never forgotten that exchange.  I never will– and I hope you won’t either. So go vote if your state has early voting or carve out the time on November 6th to exercise the franchise.

Too many brave men and women have sacrificed too much to preserve that precious right for you.

And don’t ever forget it.

 


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