Quote of the Day: On Voting

 

“The most interesting incident Tuesday morning was my walking to a building on Thirty-fourth Street to enter a booth and push levers on a voting machine. I have never understood why anybody passes up that bargain. It doesn’t cost a cent, and for that couple of minutes, you’re the star of the show, with top billing. It’s the only way that really counts for you to say I’m it, I’m the one that decides what’s going to happen and who’s going to make it happen. It’s the only time I really feel important and know I have a right to.” — Rex Stout, A Family Affair

Do I have to remind anyone that Tuesday is election day, and it is (as it always seems to be lately) the most important vote of our lifetimes? On Ricochet, probably not.

Rex Stout, who wrote the Nero Wolfe stories, was an old-style liberal. He was patriotic, pro-defense, and anti-communist. He believed in the American Constitution to the core of his being. He often showed that in the words he had Nero Wolfe, a naturalized US citizen, and Archie Goodwin, born a US citizen speak. In this quote, the words are spoken by Archie, a man who is both a cynic and an idealist.

Every vote is important. Sometimes elections come down to one or two votes. I have participated in two such elections in my lifetime, once as a voter and once as a candidate.

As a voter, my wife and I skipped voting in an Ann Arbor mayoral election. We had bad colds, and although the local Democratic Party called and offered to drive us to the polls (we were two Republicans living in the student ghetto, students at the time) we passed on the opportunity.  The Democrat candidate won by one vote.

As a candidate I ran in a contested race for Republican precinct chair. Why someone who moved into the neighborhood that year wanted to replace me as precinct chair is complicated. When the votes were counted on election day we were tied — until the sole absentee ballot was counted. It was for me, and I won by one vote out of over 700 ballots cast.  (The absentee voter was out of town on business, but cared enough about his vote to get an absentee ballot for the Republican primary.)

I am 67 and have been voting for nearly 50 of those years. Over that period, there were still two elections in which I participated where one vote would have changed the outcome. One vote. Next time that one vote could be your vote. So, if you have not voted yet, please vote this Tuesday.

Unless you are planning to vote for the Democrats. In that case? Feel free to stay home.

Published in Group Writing
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 15 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter: Do I have to remind anyone that Tuesday is election day,

    Oh my gosh…it’s Fall already??

    When is November?

    • #1
  2. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter: As a two voter voters, my wife and I…

    NP.

    Cheers,

    Landreader

    • #2
  3. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter: The Democrat candidate won by one vote. 

    Ann Arbor, you say?  Imagine what would have happened, if you both had voted Republican!

     

    (Yeah.  The Democrat candidate would have won by one vote.)

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Seawriter: As a two voter voters, my wife and I…

    NP.

    Cheers,

    Landreader

    Nope. This is the incident when as a voter one or two votes changed the election rather than the incident when as a candidate one or two votes changed an election. So, it should be “as a voter,” not as two voters.

    You seem to take some glee in publicly pointing out typos. Which is fine, I guess if they are actually typos. Typos are easy to make. I see them in a lot of  posts. Generally I send the author a private message pointing out the error so the author can fix it.  But that’s me. I don’t feel a need to count coup. 

     

    • #4
  5. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Breaking news: In the interest of justice and the preservation of democracy, Democrat voters are urged to show up at the polls on Wednesday.  

    • #5
  6. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    I have never felt like the star of a show while voting. The process feels far too bureaucratic to convey that sense of importance. I still think it’s worth doing, if you know something about the candidates you’re voting for or against. I remember getting the message that I should vote as soon as I could legally do so, but in reality, I didn’t know enough to make an informed decision. I would love for most young voters to stay out of it unless or until they actually read up on the issues.

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Lilly B (View Comment):
    I would love for most young voters to stay out of it unless or until they actually read up on the issues.

    When I went through school (back when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth) they taught us about the the electoral process in school, and made us read up on the issues.  Since we homeschooled our three, we did the same thing. They knew what the issues were. It occurs to me Stout wrote those words about the time I was in school and they were teaching students to read up on the issues. 

    My sons all worked as election clerks during the first elections they were eligible to vote in. I got them involved.

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Seawriter: As a two voter voters, my wife and I…

    NP.

    Cheers,

    Landreader

    Nope. This is the incident when as a voter one or two votes changed the election rather than the incident when as a candidate one or two votes changed an election. So, it should be “as a voter,” not as two voters.

    You seem to take some glee in publicly pointing out typos.

    No, I hate it.  I won’t take offense at that insult because I am just now realizing that I made a stupid mistake by teasing you, and that you don’t know me at all, when I thought for some reason that we knew each other well.

    First, typos do not bother me.  When I was young they did.  It is part of being a child that one outgrows.

    Second, like you, I send a PM, but I only take the writer’s valuable time with a PM in one case: where I thought the piece was so good it might be read in the future, and I want the writer and the future readers to have the benefit of a final polishing.

    I make typos myself, all the time, and I would appreciate it and be honored if someone did it for me.

    Exactly the opposite of the character and motives you assigned to me.

    Third, the only time I ever do a public correction is when I think the other person is a friend, the kind of friendship where teasing is expected and enjoyed, because both people are secure in the knowledge that the other regards him as an equal. Or, as in this case, the mock attack is by the one who both know is less than an equal: you are a professional writer, and I thought it was mutual knowledge that you are my superior in the literary arts.

    In other words, it is making a joking attack  that  the person will recognize as a joke and give right back. Like if I were friends with Michael Jordan, and we were playing one-on-one and I mocked him for missing a jump shot when we were at dinner later with friends and family.

    I apologize for my thick-headed misunderstanding of our relationship. Shame on me!

    • #8
  9. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    You’ve been in two more by-one-vote elections than I have. 

    City elections here are never partisan. I’ve been in school with several of them and remember them from way back when. I usually vote on the basis of whether I liked or disliked them back then. I doubt they’ve changed that much. 

    • #9
  10. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Ah. Thank you for beating me to the AG quote. It was a better time, in politics and in civility. 

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    I apologize for my thick-headed misunderstanding of our relationship. Shame on me!

    You can give me a hard time any time you wish, Mark. And you do!

    • #11
  12. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I hate our all-mail voting. We voted and returned our ballots before we left on our trip last week. 

    • #12
  13. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I re-read this excellent thread after it got promoted to the Main Feed, and realized I have something to add. There is one more line to Archie Goodwin’s comment that should bring a smile:

    “Sometimes the feeling lasts all the way home if nobody bumps me.”

    Get out and vote tomorrow, folks. I’m proud to be in your company.

    • #13
  14. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Seawriter, I think people here already got that covered. Yes, that’s one per election.

    • #14
  15. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Seawriter: I am 67 and have been voting for nearly 50 of those years. Over that period, there were still two elections in which I participated where one vote would have changed the outcome. One vote. Next time that one vote could be your vote. So, if you have not voted yet, please vote this Tuesday.

    One time I was doing standouts for a state rep. When my wife and I got home we went for a walk around our lake. A couple who we slightly knew were driving by and stopped. They said they seen us and we chatted about politics and they went on their way. After the election we seen them again. They stopped again. They told us that we changed their mind. I don’t remember what was said but the rep won the town by one vote! 

    • #15
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.