Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Primary election day in Illinois

The weather can't be blamed for the projected abysmal turnout; we're in the midst of record-setting warmth here. Actually, if I hadn't read that it's been cold in Las Vegas, Los Angeles (even San Diego), and even Phoenix, I'd be on my knees seeking Al Gore's forgiveness.

Six years ago I wrote how the Curmudgeon family brought rain to Phoenix (and snow to Scottsdale). The only place we could get warm was in the rented van -- we drove around aimlessly -- and a lot -- on that trip. We wore almost all the clothes we brought with us almost all the time.

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, it was sunny and beautiful and unseasonably warm. Oldest Son came up from college to throw a party at our home in our absence (I found out years later) -- a warm-up for the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

So our current amazing weather streak is not unprecedented, but this is the longest such stretch in my lifetime, surely.

And, still, election authorities say we won't get more than 25% turnout for the primaries today.

You would think that the mere opportunity to vote, which people all over the world die for every day, would provide more than sufficient motivation. But -- the pundits tell us -- there are no "exciting" races on the Democratic ballot in Cook County. And the Republicans are still trying to choose their tallest midget to oppose President Obama. Each Republican presidential hopeful has passionate supporters -- well, each one except Romney -- but these are few and widely scattered.

But 11 Circuit Court judges will be presumptively elected today in Cook County. And six justices of our Appellate Court as well -- no Republican has filed to oppose the winners. There will be a contest in November for the Cook County seat on the Illinois Supreme Court, but the Republican hopeful is already given virtually no chance. As a lawyer, the outcome of these races was "exciting" enough for me to get to the polls this morning.

But three of four voters won't bother.

How sad.

The mystic chords of memory, that once sounded from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, the memory of our own national struggle for freedom and to keep freedom -- these chords are drowned out by static, by Kardashians and "reality" TV, and shouting heads on cable "news" shows; the mystic chords that bound us to common nationhood and purpose are heard by fewer and fewer. And soon? They may be audible no more.

Pray for America. And, if you're in Illinois today, vote.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i absentee vote and then after i do it i always wonder if it will really count!

smiles, bee