I had an interesting conversation with Daughter Dear (DD) tonight. DD is eighteen and newly registered to vote. She is suddenly very interested in politics. The cool thing is that she takes her first vote very seriously and is considering carefully who she will support and why. I truly honor her for the seriousness with which she takes the privilege and duty to vote.
I'm a little envious, too. She has the opportunity to choose from among candidates any of which I think would be a good president -- at least considering the president whom they will follow. I think all three of the leading contenders would, each in his (or her) own way, do a good job and bring something to the White House that our country needs. DD may have the opportunity to cast a vote for the first woman or the first minority president in our history. What an historic opportunity!! She will have the opportunity to cast a vote "FOR" a candidate instead of merely choosing the lesser of two evils.
Makes me think back on my miserable, lousy track record of presidential elections.
1972 - Nixon v. McGovern - I voted for Nixon
1976 - Carter v. Ford - I voted for Carter
1980- Carter v. Reagan - I voted for Carter
1984- Reagan v. Mondale - I sat that one out.
1988- Bush v. Dukakis - I sat that one out, too.
1992- Bush v. Clinton - I voted for Clinton
1996- Clinton v. Dole - I voted for Clinton
2000- Bush v. Gore - Due to a technical glitch at the polls, I didn't get to vote. Me and a lot of other folks.
2004 - Bush v. Kerry - I voted for Kerry
The fact that I voted for Nixon is a great argument in favor of NOT giving 18-year-olds the right to vote. My government teacher talked me into not voting for McGovern. I was a stupid kid who let him talk me into doing something stupid. Bad on me.
I think that DD has better choices for her first presidential election than I did. I would love to think that she will live in a world where she will have the opportunity to choose from among qualified candidates who all have something to offer.
My personal experience has been that when I have gone to the polls, I've had to grit my teeth, hold my nose and vote for the candidate who smelled the least rotten.
I am glad DD won't have to do that this time. I hope she can get turned on and inspired by one of them.
For my part, I don't think I'll have to hold my nose and grit my teeth this year. I think my problem this year is that I don't care which one of them gets elected. I will be so grateful to see a new president in the White House, I don't care very much who it might be.
I suppose that's a better option than I have before.