Waitress - Live (mp3)
Lights are Changing - Mary Lou Lord (mp3)
Tennessee, thankfully, is one of many states which permit early voting for any reason. We might be backwards on many things, but early voting isn't one of 'em. So, I took off for lunch and traveled to the lovely city-burb we call Brainerd, and I voted at their community center. The line was all the way down a hallway, around a corner, and a quarter of the way into the gymnasium. When I arrived, I was on the free-throw line.
What I didn't expect, however, was the general mood of the people in line. Somehow, standing in a long line to vote didn't make anyone angry or impatient. We were all having little conversations about nothing, smiling and getting along and happy to exercise our democratic participation.
All this despite already knowing how Tennessee will go to John McCain in the election. (Mondale won Minnesota; Gore couldn't win his own state. Barack never had a chance here.)
That, my friends (a McCain-ism!), is what I love about this country of ours. When you see people of two different minds, all of whom know exactly how something is gonna pan out, standing in line to make their marks anyway. Because you just never know. Because we only get to vote in 20 or so Presidential Elections if we're really lucky. Because, in some teensy miniscule way, every vote really counts. It counts in the national and state tally, and it counts in the feeling you have standing in that line, in filling out that election ballot, in walking back out to your car and knowing you've done one of the few civic duties your country asks of you.
[At right is what happened to Kelsey Grammar after he started sending out emails for the Republican Party.]
"The Choice" from the October 13 issue of The New Yorker.
Good luck, and be sure to vote. It feels good.
"Waitress" is from Live's 1991 album Throwing Copper. "Lights are Changing" is from Mary Lou Lord's debut, Got No Shadow. Both are available on iTunes and at Amazon.com's mp3 site.