Today was election day. The absentee ballots have been turned in, the in-person votes have been cast, and the predictions will now roll in as the votes are tabulated. For me, election day has always had its pros and cons. Pros being that we can witness democracy in action; people voting and hoping that their voices are heard, and the campaigning drawing to a close. Cons being the manipulation of the campaign circuits and the sometimes disrespect of many voters.
Today on Facebook I saw graphic after graphic posted to people's pages saying that they had voted ... which was great. What I also saw was various TV media stations making early predictions based on exit polls in attempts to influence one party or the other that one side was winning over the other and they needed to get out and vote. I guarantee you that anyone could poll any targeted group about a pre-selected topic and come away with the result they were looking for. Ironically the early exit polls all start coming out in the middle of the day ... seriously? I've been voting now for over 30 years and I have not once been asked who I voted for as I left a poll; which is probably good because if asked I would have to tell them that it was none of their business. It's all manipulation no matter how you look at it. As if the last several weeks haven't had enough TV & radio commercials with content that did nothing more than bash the opponent, we now get to observe Facebook and Internet 'comments' from people who hide behind cartoon and fictitious profile names. I always seem to quit reading after about the 8th or 9th ignorant comment because my stomach starts to roll. It continues to amaze me how freely the disrespectful and ignorant words can flow from one stranger toward another stranger.
I am all for exercising our right to vote. I am all for fighting for our freedoms and our rights; freedom of speech being one of them. But with every right and freedom comes responsibility ... or at least it should.
Late tonight or tomorrow morning there will be both acceptance and concession speeches. As with any competition there will be winners and losers. At this point all I can hope for is a brighter, more positive tomorrow for ALL of us.
How did you fare during today's election?