There is never a time I get more flag-waving, Sousa-singing, apple-pie-eating patriotic than on Election Day. (Granted, in presidential election years, much of my emotion stems from my relief at the knowledge that the campaigning will be over within a matter of hours. But I am feeling a deep emotion nonetheless).
While our political system certainly has its (enormous) problems, I love the fact that we citizens have the right and the responsibility to vote and make what changes we can to this system, in the anticipation that we as a nation will always improve.
My first presidential election was the 2000 race, when I was a senior in college. I remember getting spittle-flecked with frustration one day during the summer of 2000 when discussing voting with a fellow student. She claimed she didn’t know enough about politics to feel comfortable voting: she would prefer to leave the voting to those people who were paying closer attention. I told her that she was a college student and as such, presumably knew how to do research. Wasn’t she willing to do some for something so important?
It has been said many times by many people that the free flow of information is the lifeblood of democracy. Since my days as a college student, that free flowing information has shifted from newspapers to the Internet—and specifically to bloggers. And that has made it so much easier for voters to learn what they need to know in order to make informed decisions.
It may seem as though finance bloggers have little to do with politics. We write about how to improve the state of our readers’ wallets, bank accounts, and investments, not about political issues.
But remember, we write daily about finance, taxes, jobs, education, the economy, food prices, gas prices, careers, automobiles, international finance, and government programs—in short, the things voters care about. By reading our finance blogs, voters have a better understanding of financial matters—from the global to the national to the regional to the specific family. We do research and provide valuable information to our readers, and that makes us an important cog in the political machine.
Tomorrow, as you’re casting your vote, watching election results, and breathing a sigh of relief at the end of (this year’s!) nasty ads, remember just how important every part of the democratic process is, and be proud of your contribution to it.