I’ve ignored my yard, my dogs, my husband, and my house. I’ve done more than most, not as much as some. I am exhausted, bone tired, ready for a long winter’s nap.
I am only one of millions of us who have been working like another sort of soldier to protect our democracy and freedoms. These soldiers are as dedicated to the truths of democratic principles and the Constitution that protects them as any that patrol our borders and skies. They understand that our democracy is at risk and every single vote this election counts. They volunteer time and donate their money to Democratic or Progressive Congressional candidates running for office this year.
These sorts of soldiers wear tennis shoes instead of boots. They carry clipboards instead of ammunition clips. But there’s still an order of command, there’s still a clear objective, there’s still the need to carry water and wear sunscreen (some of us even arm ourselves, with pepper spray, depending upon the territory).
These soldiers knock on doors, make phone calls, table at libraries, and have tough conversations with neighbors who might have a different political yard sign. They’re the sort of soldier who arrives every Monday night, for weeks, to write post cards to fellow voters encouraging them to vote. Soldiers that spend hours on end tediously printing out precinct maps and lists, then organizing them. Dutiful ranks that transport campaign materials to rural districts. The kinds of soldiers that drives for hours to campaign for a candidate outside their district, for the sake of flipping the House.
Let me be clear: The armed forces that serve on our front line and daily put their life in danger deserve all respect and gratitude. I do not claim that the sort of soldier I reference here requires the same. I am simply pointing out that there is indeed a different sort of soldier that works diligently to protect our democracy. They do, at least, deserve a whispered thank you in the corner of the room.
Vote smart this election. Take it from this historian, your democracy depends upon it.
(photo credits: marine times, visualventuring.com)