Tonight's gratitude is easy.
I am so glad we live in a country where we are able to have a voice. A voice in who serves us. A voice on tax levies. A voice on unions, and healthcare. I am so glad.
Folks a long time ago fought for that right for us -- especially as women -- to have that right. I'm so glad people exercise it!
I had a neat opportunity tonight -- to go to the Board of Elections and watch as the votes came in. It wasn't quite as glamorous as watching the Presidential votes arrive -- with news reporters with their maps that turn colors as votes are tallied. In fact, at first we watched the numbers coming in, and then a smart woman near us started counting as the numbers arrived. LOL
My brother was running for Municipal Court Judge. He is currently the judge, but had been appointed late last year, so had never been elected to the position. So, his whole campaign was built on "Keep Judge Goettemoeller" as opposed to "Re-elect" because he had never been elected. Also, because of that, we had no idea how the numbers would run.
We watched him pull ahead and then pull behind for a bit. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride! I would be able to tell what the numbers said based on his face when he returned with another precinct.
In the end, he won. Of course I was very happy and proud for him. But, (and I mean this in all honesty) -- I would have been proud of him if he had been beaten by a lot. He ran a great campaign. And he runs a great courtroom. He's looking out for people there. He doesn't just hear stories and throw people in jail. He figures out what is best for them (going to work, being with their family, etc.) and tries to make it work. He's cut the budget since he's been there -- partially by not putting so many people in jail!
I so wish my parents could have been there tonight. I felt my mother's presence with me today -- reminding me to be there for him tonight -- win or lose. But my mom would have been so proud. And my dad, too. He missed going to Duane's swearing in by 6 days (he died 6 days prior to Duane taking the bench). He's done a great job. (He is, after all, "Our Son".) LOL
Of course I like the election process because my brother won. But I've been thinking of this post for hours. I would have written this even if he had lost. Because it's a system that works. I may not always like the outcome, but I may not always campaign as hard as I could for some issues/candidates. And, if I don't, how can I feel something is wrong?
So, here's to parades, and shaking hands, and fundraisers -- all in the name of democracy at work.
And congratulations, Duane! Love you!