When I was old enough to vote, I came to realize my father did not vote.
He stated “My vote won’t count.” So, after I voted, they would show the results on TV and I would point to the last number of the vote total and say, “That’s my vote right there.” I wanted to stress that all of our votes mattered and do count – I think I shamed him into voting after that.
As I filled in my vote for Biden on my early ballot, I thought of how such a seemingly small act has such huge consequences. In the movies when big things happen, they have this stirring music in the background to let us know the importance of what is happening to accentuate the moment and make it important for us to remember that moment. I kept wondering what kind of music I would want to be playing in the background to show how momentous a shift is going to happen if Biden wins this presidency.
First and foremost, a Biden win will be the continuation and growth of the Affordable Care Act. This will actually save lives for millions of people and support the most vulnerable among us, giving them the support and safety they deserve.
Next, will be a comprehensive plan to fight and overcome this devastating pandemic that has taken so many of our loved ones from their families. Using testing, tracing and isolation that is implemented nationwide until an effective vaccine is provided to all of us that will save thousands of lives.
Voting in our elections will no longer be undermined or questioned on its validity. There will be an emphasis on how do we get as many people to the polls that want to vote? How do we make the process easy and more efficient and safe with the knowledge that no countries will be able to interfere with our vote?
There will be a recognition of the systemic racism that has infected our country for hundreds of years and plans on how to recognize it, fight it and, in the future, destroy it and the stain it’s inflicted on our country.
How to teach that recognition in our schools so there is a constant vigil for it never having the ability crawl out of whatever vile place it resides.
These are massive shifts in our society that have been straining for some issues, over hundreds of years. The issues above are just four of many issues that will change in our country if Biden is elected.
I keep saying “if” because in 2016 I was so sure that Hillary would win and she did not. I am not going to assume my candidate will win until the numbers are in, even if the polls look good.
So, if you are reading this and thinking your vote doesn’t count, it does. I wish we could play that stirring music from the movies that let us know something big is about to happen.
But all we have is the quiet dignity of the polls where we calmly make our decisions.
Your one vote makes huge things happen. We may not see them right away, but that rumble of change is silently making a difference in all our lives.
Here’s hoping you have to stand in line for a long time, because that is what change feels like, and if you listen really close maybe you can even hear that rumble.
Bill Freeman is a retired mental health counselor and a progressive Democrat in McMinn County. He can be reached at email@example.com