November 5 Weekly Open Thread
As usual, this is your place for all conversations automotive.
Tomorrow is Election Day. For close on two years, at least, we've been canvassed, caucused, focus-grouped, push-polled, robocalled, lawn-signed, and bumper-stickered by one candidate or the other to the point where most of us are just wanting to get the damned election cycle over with already. As tired as you probably are of electoral politics (as I am), if you haven't already availed yourself of whatever early voting opportunities your state offers (as I did), I would respectfully urge you to go to the polls tomorrow.
The right to vote, which gives us the power to hold our government accountable to its citizens, and the right to speak freely on political matters, which allows us to use that vote, are a large part of what makes this country as great as it is. Yeah, that's kind of a rose-colored Schoolhouse Rock thing to say, but that doesn't make it any less true. As easy as it is to be cynical about our system of government and our political class--my father was an elected official, and after what I saw him having to deal with, I could out-cynic most of you with one hand tied behind my back--what we have is still the best that human beings have devised to date. (Not that there isn't always room for improvement.) Let me relate to you an experience that brought this point home to me.
Late afternoon, Election Day 1988, I was heading out of the building on my way home and I see Rob coming the other way, looking extremely excited. I get within conversational range, and he's so excited he's almost shouting, "I am so happy! I just voted! I feel so powerful!"
Rob knew what it was like to live somewhere where the people are servants of the government instead of the other way around, and he appreciated freedom in a way that most of us never will. It certainly reminded me just how valuable that vote is, regardless of what you think of some of the politicians.
I'm Cookie the Dog's Owner, and I approved this message.
(Image found at the Antique Automobile Club forum.)
NOTE: I wrote this post to tell a story, and to encourage citizen participation in civic affairs, not to set off a debate on the comparative merits of particular candidates or issues. In your comments, please refrain from partisan argumentation in accordance with the Car Lust Code of Conduct. Better yet, don't talk about the election at all--there'll be more than enough of that to go around in other places this week! --CtDO