Commentary: First time voting offers hope

I walked into the house and set my things from school and work on my bed. I went into the kitchen and spoke with Grandpa and Autumn for a few moments. Then, I turned towards my place at the table and saw the envelope that was addressed to me. I looked at it. In the left-hand return address, I saw the Absentee Ballot Office. It had finally come!

I sat down at the table, took out my Cross pen, and slowly opened the envelope. This was the moment I had been waiting for. I remembered reading about President Lincoln in “Team of Rivals” and how he had sent out absentee ballots to members of the military during the Civil War. I thought of our founding mothers and fathers — what they had to go through so that we might be free. I remembered working in the U.S. Capitol, walking those sacred halls, taking part in our government. As I sat down to vote for the first time for the office of President of the United States, I couldn’t help but feel proud. I was finally having my voice counted. I was voting.

I filled in the little bubbles next to the candidates that I supported. I read the ballot measures, understood what they were saying and cast my vote. I looked at the judges and knew who I wanted to see retained and who I did not. I was informed.

We all know how divisive and nasty this election cycle has been. We all saw that first presidential debate, the whole world saw it. I have also seen the last four years.

I have learned about the spying of the Trump campaign and the impeachment proceedings. I have seen Speaker Pelosi declare the creation of a Commission on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. I have seen the riots across the country. I have heard the chants. But, through it all, I have been able to look through the smoke and the smog to see the everyday American.

It was not on the news when we made a music video singing “Lean on Me” or we had the Lip-Syncing Challenge. It was not on the news when we came together as a community to support the seniors who graduated by holding a parade with Cordova on the sidewalks to support us. It didn’t make the news when our churches prayed for our people and for our country. No, the America I know is not on the news every night. We are the America I know, and this gives me great hope.

William Deaton is a graduate of Cordova Jr./Sr. High School and is leader of the Cordova Precinct of the Republican Party.