From referendums to all sorts of races across the nation this election cycle is most interesting. If it is possible to just enjoy the drama of politics even in a cycle where the party we support is in trouble–and I think many politicos such as myself do that every election regardless of party–than this November has a whole array of races to watch unfold these last weeks of the campaign, along with a reason to stay up late and watch the votes be reported come Election Night.
As the leaves turn and the wind starts to have a distinctive chill our national thoughts gravitate towards the races that will decide who governs and controls power. This is the season when die-hards turn in C-SPAN to watch debates from other states that they can not vote in but just really want to see the contenders go one-on-one in the field of ideas.
If it after all during many of the mid-term races that produce men and women who make up the pages of our history.
In 1946–another mid-term election–two young men would be elected to Congress. One from the eastern part of this nation and one from the western part.
One would be a Democrat. The other a Republican. Over the years they would rise to serve in the senate.
Both would also serve as President of the United States.
Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon were both from the class of 1946, the products of tough and tumble campaigns, and watched by many in their states as the press reported on their races.
What happens in every election cycle matters. The same is true this year as we are about to turn another page in the political story of our country. Sometimes our candidates win, and at other times they lose. But the larger narrative never ceases to unfold.
But what matters the most is how people sense their role in the whole story.
Some will never pick up a newspaper nor have a care to learn more about the candidates or the issues that are at stake in the election. They will not vote, and not care to stay up until the coverage of Election Night is over.
Then there are those citizens who stay in touch with current events every day, know the candidates, and can speak to the issues that need to be dealt with in the country. They vote and in so doing are a part of that history which future generations will read about.
I am not sure what the answer is to get more people tuned into the excitement that comes with red-white-and blue bunting flapping at a fall campaign rally or care about the men and women who take the time to become candidates for office. Regardless of party those candidates are to be respected for the civic duty they feel so strongly about that they give up a great deal of personal time, resources, and energy to make a bid for office.
The least we can do is play our part as citizens and vote. And in so doing be a part of history in the making.