Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember that phrase from your high school typing class. I remember it, along with the alphabet drill “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”
But I’m not writing a story about typing. I want you to think about that sentence, “now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” Now is the time. There is a war going on, a war against women, a war against the elderly, the unemployed, the poor, students, school children, union members and workers. Multi-national corporations and billionaires are buying our politicians left and right, and leaving “We the People” in the dust.
So, now is the time to come to the aid of your country. Do something. Volunteer to make calls for the candidate of your choice, go door-to-door or stuff envelopes. At the very least, track down progressive candidates and give to their campaigns – because the billionaires and the corporations have an endless stream of money to finance their essentially anti-American goal of taking this country back to 1905. And whatever you do, do not forget to vote. This is your responsibility and your privilege as a citizen of this country.
We’ve all heard the endless GOP meme about voter fraud. Now, we all know that there is no problem with voter fraud. What there is, however, is a problem with election fraud and voter suppression. That’s why I decided to do my part and become a poll worker.
In 2008, I was a precinct inspector and I was responsible for running a small precinct in the suburbs of Los Angeles. It was one of the best experiences of my life; I was part of history. I participated in the election of our first African-American president, Barack Obama. I watched 18 year olds glowing with pride as they voted for the first time, and I watched a 100 year old African-American woman in a wheelchair cast her vote with tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks. Parents brought their babies and their children with them to the polls so they could be part of the historic event.
It was a very long day, from 6:00a.m., when I and my poll workers arrived to set up the equipment at our precinct, until approximately 9:00p.m., when we returned our equipment and our ballots to the designated return location. It was exhausting and exhilarating. It was nerve-wracking, because I was responsible for the proper accounting for all the ballots in my precinct, cast and uncast. It was altogether an awesome day, and it’s one I will never forget.
I’m writing this on Monday night, because I’ll be serving as a poll worker for tomorrow’s primary. I’ll be just another poll worker, but I’m also a pair of sharp eyes watching over our democracy. I urge you to do the same.