Civics ballot

Published on November 6th, 2012 | by Daniel Rahe

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Tacoma’s Greatest Day

On this beautiful Election Day, Post Defiance decided to step out of our gloomy war room to mingle with Tacoma’s voting public. What we found astounded us.

Joyful crowds gathered outside precinct polling places, all dressed in cheery blends of red-white-and-blue festoonery. Only a few citizens chose not to honor Tacoma’s longstanding tradition of holding hands with those alongside them in the lines to the voting booths. Old men in naval veteran ball-caps warmly embraced skateboarders wearing fake Uncle Sam beards and red-striped pants.

Taverns, bars, and public houses all over the city have closed for the day, voluntarily, to emphasize the sobering responsibility of voting. While you may have to forego your flagon of suds today, at least you can be assured that the city’s purveyors respect our nation’s democracy.

Since public transportation is totally overwhelmed with eager voters, suburban families from Bonney Lake to DuPont have organized impromptu minivan armadas to transport Tacoma’s homeless and less-fortunate to the polls. Waves of gleaming Routans, Mazda5, Siennas and Odysseys pass by, bob-haired moms in hipster glasses waving from the driver’s seats.

Indeed, Tacoma, like the rest of our great nation, is united on this day in irrepressible pride and hope. Many countries on this planet suffer from internal divisions – one group demonizing another and mistrusting its motives, holding their own governance hostage to short-sighted and ludicrously intractable anger. Such nations are paralyzed by their own lack of perspective.

But the United States of America is not such a nation. This is a land that abhors an obstruction. We see the views of our fellow Americans as being just as valid as our own. Their dreams are our dreams. Their success is our success. We see no American as less than any other, and feel honored to share our freedom with so many grand and interesting folks.

So, on this day – which is perhaps Tacoma’s most shining and jubilant celebration – consider your ballot carefully. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you to read each person’s name placed before you and take a moment to silently thank them for being willing to serve in the public sector for the benefit of all.

Then place your ballot in the box and return to the party in the streets, sending your happy yelp to the heavens to ring across the clouds with the all the exuberant voices of your cheering fellow Tacomans.

(photo by Alicia Wilkinson)

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