Today I was listening to the radio in the car -- on my way to early voting -- and I heard a woman say she didn't see any reason to vote. I almost ran the car into the ditch.
What? With the way things are today? And you're a woman? Are you crazy?
"I have a headache," she said. "Anyway, what does it matter?"
"You are going to have a hell of bigger headache if the Republicans keep control of Congress and Trump thinks he has a mandate to do whatever he wants," I screamed at the radio. "And that's exactly what will happen!"
Then, I saw this column by Petula Devorak in The Washington Post, headlined: "Women who don't vote? Explain yourselves to Grandma Flanagan."
Here's how she opened her article:
If you’re a woman and you can’t be bothered to vote in this election, then you owe Patricia McDonald an explanation.And an apology.
Her grandmother, Catherine Flanagan, was 26 and on vacation in Washington when she was shot at, arrested, beaten, brutalized, humiliated and fed maggots and lice because she joined a bunch of protesters at the White House.
Because she wanted to vote.
“My grandmother went to jail for your right to vote. And you’re just going to piss it away?” said McDonald, 63, a retired Baltimore attorney who is stunned that women — white women in particular this election — may not be using their full power to influence the country."
That's just one of many stories about what women have gone through over the course of history to have the same rights as men to cast a ballot. But then when you add to that the actions of the current president toward women over the years and the policies of his administration and his supporters in Congress, the thought of women not bothering to vote blows my mind.
But that's not all
I read another piece today that many millennials may not bother to vote. According to a poll reported here, only about one-third plan to do so.
Conducted by NBCNews/GenForward, the poll showed that seven percent of the respondents said voting is too basic to even bother; 12 percent said they probably won't vote and another 23 percent said they didn't know.
Thirty-one percent said they will definitely be at the polls, but 26 percent were less certain and while they will "probably vote," there's a chance they will just stay home and chill.
Meanwhile, 70 percent of millennials said they have at least "some interest" in the midterm election, but 59 percent said they weren't familiar with the congressional candidates in their district. Twelve percent simply said they have zero interest in the election.
I wonder this. Do they really want septuagenarians like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi making monumental decisions that will affect their futures and the future of their kids and grandkids for years to come?
The fact is that a lot of usual Democratic supporters failed to vote in 2016, and that got us Donald Trump. If that's what you want, stay home. But if you want to make things better, you have the power. Just vote.
Oh, by the way
At the local election office today, an elderly, blind African American man stood in line for a half- hour and then, aided by family members and a poll worker, used an audio system to cast his ballot. He was determined. He knew what was important. He did not stay home to chill.
He used his power. He voted.