Family, Civic Duty and the Value of Voting
For many Americans, Election Day is an event they part take in every four years. It’s about civic duty to your country and as many as thirty percent of the electorate turnouts to vote. Election Day is also a day that many Americans show their partisan leanings, disagree on propositions and candidates, but everyone generally agrees that voting is a good thing.
From all the media outlets talking heads, public opinion polls, yard signs, and Presidential ads, it’s safe to presume that after tonight there will be a cry of relief and the return of normalcy for the average Joe American.
However, these facets of the four year election cycle aren’t the focus of today’s commentary. It’s not about politics as it relates who or what party someone is voting for, but is more about how someone votes.
My mother, a Vietnamese American refugee, has finally casted her ballot. For many Americans, Election Day and voting is a standard affair, but let’s keep things in perspective: my mother has only been a US citizen for about twenty years and before that she lived in Communist Vietnam, which has virtually has no political culture of democratic institutions, elected officials, or general plebiscites.
Demographically, my mother’s education level is at the primary level, meaning her education level is at the high school level. Unlike her son, me, she’s never taken an interest in civic life nor has shown that will after this election.
So I decided to ask my mother why she voted and I stressed to her the sanctity of secret ballots, she didn’t have to tell how show voted. One of the most important reasons of why she was voting, she told me, is, “Everything in country has been broken under this president and I believe it was time to make a change. In this country if you want change, you have to vote!”
Thus, with this election, I’ve gotten a bit closer with my mother and I’m happy that we’re both wearing “I voted stickers” and my mother has told me, with a great sense of pride, that she’s ready for the next one.
Who knew my mom was such a model citizen!?