Capitol Christmas Tree, by Flickr user flickr-rickr
In college, I found it inconvenient for a number of reasons to celebrate Halloween, but I still found myself, needing the rhythm of a fall holiday before Thanksgiving. Being a political science major, Election Day fit the bill nicely. I sang Election Day carols, decorated my dorm room with red, white, and blue paper chains, and convinced my long-suffering roommates to humor me by participating in the festivities. Okay, so it was more like Christmas than Halloween, but when your holiday falls right after midterms, you do what you can, all right?
I still think that Election Day in DC is a lot like Christmas. We have all manner of parties to attend, time off to participate in the relevant observances, drinking and merrymaking, and hey, we even get presents!
What Christmas does for “good will toward men,” Election Day does for democracy- for all the flaws, inefficiencies, and mass media-age self-consciousness of our political process, the act of queuing up to choose our leaders reminds us what a rare thing in human history government by, for, and of the people actually is. Ninety years ago- one lifetime!- I wouldn’t have had the right to cast a ballot to determine the leaders who would legislate the laws under which I would live. With that in mind, Election Day is too important for me to shrug off as just another day.