Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Thoughts. Also, Cows.

Dear America*,

Please vote today. I mailed in my ballot from Amsterdam several weeks ago. If I can vote from thousands of miles away, you can take the time to walk over to the closest polling place. Even if you're not thrilled with your choices for President (I'm not sure anyone is), there are still plenty of local races where your vote makes a difference. These candidates may not be as conspicuous as those in the presidential campaign, but local government has the largest direct impact on your life. States and counties determine what happens in your schools, on your roads, with your water. It's up to you to select the representatives that will have power over these issues--that's why your vote is crucial.

If you're not planning on voting because you're fed up with both Clinton and Trump, take a moment to consider the privilege that allows you to make that decision. You're essentially saying that regardless of who's elected, it won't affect your life--at least not in a significant way. But there are lots of people whose lives could change drastically under these candidates' policies--women, people of color, the LGBTQIA community, the disabled. For all these people, what happens in this election is important. You should think about what kind of country you'd like everyone to live in. Voting (or not voting) does not have to be a selfish act.

Thanks for reading. And now, since we're all stressed out about the election, here are some cows:

E&R's friends Klaas & Wendy own Het Koeienhuis, a farm where they raise Wagyu cattle. Every year when it gets too cold in the pasture, they run the cows through the streets of tiny Benningbroek back to their barn, and then they host an open house for those who come to watch--an open house that includes grilling up some tasty Wagyu beef burgers. It was a rainy day, but lots of fun nonetheless. 

Twisty apple trees on the boerderij (farm).

Someone's thirsty.


I'm glad I got to experience the rural part of the Netherlands as well, even though it was a little damp and chilly. We drove back to Amsterdam afterwards and had hot cocoa, so all was well. 

I suppose that's a good moral for the election, too. Whatever happens, even if things go bad, we can always make it better. 


Erin and I are going to Boom Chicago, a Chicago-style improv comedy club, for an election party tonight. I hear they're good--we'll need them to keep us smiling as the results roll in. Happy voting!



*I cannot write "Dear America" without thinking of the prolific historical children's book series. My favorite was Standing in the Light, in which the young female narrator was captured by a Native American tribe and then was slowly integrated and accepted into their culture, before being cruelly re-captured by her white family. Wow. That was a book, alright. I bet I would have some opinions about that now. 

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