Voting: Feels like the first time …

Old fashionet American Constitution with USA Flag.

A young Facebook friend of mine posted a giddy comment about something she did today for the first time.

She voted.

The object of her excitement was being able to vote “FOR” the multipurpose event venue that city voters today are deciding whether to endorse or reject.

I’m glad my young acquaintance is so thrilled at voting for the first time. I hope she remains engaged, involved and energized by the political process that has rippled through the city in recent weeks.

I remember my own first vote. It was, shall we say, a very long time ago.

It was 1972. I had turned 21 two years earlier. The minimum voting age would be reduced to 18 in 1971 with enactment of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

So, that meant I could vote in 1972. I got involved politically in the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. George McGovern. I had separated from the Army in 1970, re-enrolled in college in January 1971 and became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement.

Heck, I’d taken part in that war and was as confused over the reasons for fighting it upon my return to the States as I was when I went over there in the spring of 1969.

McGovern became my candidate of choice. I registered new voters among fellow college students. We held rallies, carried signs, chanted slogans … all those things that young activists do when they’re fired up about a candidate or a cause.

Well, all that energy didn’t produce the desired result.

President Nixon cruised to re-election that year, winning 61 percent of the popular vote and 49 of 50 states.

Ouch!

Still, it didn’t dim my love of politics and policy … and my strong desire to make sure my vote is counted at any and every level of government.

That is my wish for my young Facebook friend as she moves forward with her own life and her own interest in politics and public policy.

Keep up the good fight, young lady.

 

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