9to5to9: To the guys in 20 years
You don’t know much about what’s going on tomorrow, other than that it’s important. Important enough that Mommy’s hijacked the television a few times this fall to hear The Bomber and The Cain talk.
Oh, and you know that tomorrow, Mommy’s going to walk with you to the church across the street to go “boat.”
Little Guy, you’ll look confused when you don’t see a watercraft, but Big Guy, you’ll remember the stickers and Hershey kisses they hand out. You’ll probably fight over who gets to drop my ballot in the box. It’s Little Guy’s turn. You cast your first vote in February, Big Guy, even if the vote technically was mine.
You’ll never grasp the magnitude of the decision Mommy and millions of other Americans are going to make, though. Oh, you’ll know full well in 20 years’ time, because you’ll no doubt study this election in poli sci classes. It’s that important. That different.
And you’ll study it in history classes as well, because it’s going to be that key to charting our country’s course.
It hasn’t been a lot of fun in recent months, has it? You’ve seen relatives who used to go to work every day suddenly start staying home. You’ve seen friends and classmates move from spacious houses to tiny apartments. You’ve heard Mommy say “no” to the donut shop but promise we’ll make our own. Ever the skeptic, you didn’t think we could pull that off, Big Guy. But we did, didn’t we? And it was a blast, even if the donuts were loaded with enough sprinkles to make them illegal in several states.
It’s nothing new for politicians and pundits to tout an election as key. This time, though, I believe they’re right. We’re on an abyss. What the big people decide tomorrow will have a deep effect on your lives, maybe even your kids’ lives. God, I hope we don’t screw it up for you.
Guys, you know I like The Bomber in this race. I agree with many of his policies, though I think some are a little pie in the sky-ish. I admire the way he’s carried himself with dignity through out this campaign. Even if he loses, he’ll be an inspiration for people everywhere in this country with funny foreign-sounding names — people like you two, my little loves.
If I hadn’t been firmly in his category before, I would have moved that way the second he said, “What is important is making sure we disagree without being disagreeable.”
I’ve been saying that for months, you see, as I’ve watched people — intelligent, often rational folk — rip each other apart across the Internet, on television and beyond. And there’s just no call for that.
There have been signs lately that things might get better after all this insanity passes. More and more folks are calling for an end to the anger, the hostility. It’s like when I tell you guys to work it out when the “stoopit” and “poop bag” bombs start bursting in air. The big people have to get better at that, too.
So on the eve of this historic election, there are two things I hope we adults can do for your generation, guys.
Get out and vote. This one is too important to sit out.
And set aside the armaments and pull together once it’s over. There’s too much at stake to do otherwise.
Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.
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