November 4, 2016

Because You Count

Because You Count

I’m thinking back to June of 2015. Donald Trump had just entered the presidential race, and most people, me included, thought it would be another short-lived publicity stunt for the reality TV star/real estate developer. I’m positive the other 18 Republican candidates for the party’s nomination thought the same thing.

Hillary Clinton started her official campaign for the Democratic nomination two months earlier, in April 2015, and I would venture to say she never expected that her eventual success in securing it would take until July of this year, with a 75-year-old socialist giving her a real run for her money along the way.

But alas, here we are. This must be what the Cubs and Indians felt like before Game 7. Next Tuesday, the race for our country’s next commander-in-chief will be over, and we will hopefully wake up Wednesday morning finally knowing the results of this slug-fest.

Our democratic system provides probably the best example of how the orderly election of a national leader takes place, how often and how the process should work. Since there is no incumbent running in this election, we will certainly see exactly what our constitution provides for – a systematic, expected and orderly transition of power.

Now, I wouldn’t dare get into the qualifications of either candidate (or lack thereof) or share my personal beliefs about who our next president should be. Rather, this column is about voting. I’ve voted in every presidential election since I was old enough to cast a ballot. In fact, since I’ll be traveling on business on Tuesday, I’ve already cast my absentee ballot, a very civilized process that I highly recommend, even if you’re not away from home. Who really needs to wait in line at your local polling place when you can accomplish the same thing in the privacy of your own home?

Our democratic process gives everyone eligible to vote a say in who our elected leaders will be. While the process may have some flaws, it’s endured for 240 years, Electoral College and all. And not voting should not be an option. As we witnessed in 2000 with Bush vs. Gore, a whole election can hinge on just a few ballots. Every vote counts, and so do the votes that don’t get cast (see Want Your Absentee Vote to Count? Don’t Make These Mistakes from NPR).

So my friends, the most controversial presidential campaign of modern times comes to an end in just four days. It’s incumbent on all of us to exercise our rights and let our voices be heard. Get out there and vote!

P.S. In his keynote remarks at the Marcum Alternative Investment Manager Forum on Wednesday, Larry Kudlow made an impassioned plea for bipartisanship and civil discourse in our government. His latest book (sorry for the plug) is a comparison of JFK (a Democrat) and Ronald Reagan (a Republican), who both achieved a legacy of economic growth by using their intelligence as well as their in-bred manners to persuade, rather than bully, the other side to their policies. (See my column from 3/11 on the rules of civility). We would be lucky indeed if our next President – whoever he or she turns out to be – takes a page from their playbook to return us to economic health. Thanks, Larry!

And lastly, congratulations to the Chicago Cubs for winning the 2016 World Series. What an exciting series and especially what an exciting seventh game! It had everything you could want in a playoff. The game was close, it went into extra innings, there was a rain delay, it was close all the way to the end, and it really captured national attention. It also ended a 108-year quest by Chicago to win the pennant again. Good for them!