Democracy ruined my Memorial Day. I know what you are thinking because I can read minds. You must be asking yourself how can the sacrifice of our soldiers do anything but elevate our democracy. Well, I will tell you if you are willing to listen.
While you were celebrating Memorial Day by going to the beach and having friends over for a barbecue, did I have time to do any of these things? I wish I had, but I didn’t. I was too busy studying the ballot for this year’s California Primary and reviewing the endless reams of campaign fliers and position papers that suffocated my mailbox.
I once took an intro government course in college and had less reading for that course than I did over Memorial Day weekend in preparation for my vote this year. Back in the “old country,” we often had no exceptional candidates running for office and were forced to pick between the lesser of two evils, Here, we have so many gifted candidates that we have to study diligently to differentiate amongst the most qualified office seekers.
And there are so many positions up for grabs. Not only do we select a Governor and a Congressman, but we elect our judges, unlike back in Jersey, and we elect people for Secretary of State (I thought John Kerry already held that position.), Secretary of Insurance, State Treasurer and so on-all positions appointed by New Jersey’s Governor, not elected.
In other words, California has forced me to devote time to participate in democracy, and wouldn’t those who gave their lives for our country be delighted with that result?