Voted Early, But Not Often

My husband and I took advantage of early voting in our county this evening.  For this entire week, Leavenworth County, Kansas offered citizens the opportunity to vote early in a basement conference room at the county courthouse, staying open late until seven o’clock.  No mess, no fuss, no lines.  We were in and out of the courthouse in less than ten minutes.  It took us longer to read the signs and follow the posted directions to the conference room than it to do actually cast our ballots.

This is the first time I’ve ever voted early.  I’ve never even voted via an absentee ballot in the past.  I’ve always managed to be home (not traveling) on election day.  I’m very happy with the early voting process and plan to take advantage of it in future elections.

Now if I could just find and install a political ad-blocking application on my television and Facebook feed for the next few days, I’d been in heaven.

Polarization v. Compromise or the Cold War v. Common Sense

The polls closed a few minutes ago here in the Heart of America (aka Kansas).  Twelve hours ago I took a few minutes to cast my votes and submit my ballot.  Something unheard of or scoffed at a thousand years ago, or even just a couple or three hundred years in the past; a privilege I have invoked every election year since 1982.  A non-violent non-fatal process for expressing and affirming a society’s will or vision and any changes thereto.

I stumbled across, via my WordPress subscriptions, a blog post by an author I admire, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. entitled ‘Election Day … and the Polarization of Everything?‘  His observations struck a chord with me, especially with the heightened awareness the Internet brings to the radical (left or right … take your pick) and the Tea Party movement.  Extreme viewpoints and adherence to a very strict code of ethics is laudable, but can lead to stalemates at best and a fall into violence at worst.

Without some hope of compromise, I envision a return to a Cold War-type era, where an ‘arms race’ of values and platforms trumps any Common Sense measures which when properly discussed and debated might actually benefit a majority of people.

I admit I’m often a centrist, attempting to accurately see both sides or all sides of an issue before making a suggestion or a decision.  No matter how uncomfortable it might make me feel, I want to ‘walk a mile’ in someone else’s shoes before putting on my own and breaking trail on my own path.