Today is Election Day across the United States. The weather isn’t the greatest here in Rhode Island and the rest of New England, but clouds, drizzle and rain are no excuses for avoiding your polling place.
So, get out and vote.
In Sports World, voting occurs all the time. Baseball writers cast ballots for election of all-time greats to the Hall of Fame. A secret panel votes on admission to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another secret panel of writers, broadcasters, contributors and historians votes on the International Tennis Hall of Fame inductees. Writers vote for the Top 25 in college football and basketball. College coaches vote in their own football and basketball polls. Media members vote for the Heisman Trophy in college football and the John Wooden Award in college basketball.
Fans even vote in Sports World. They cast ballots for all-stars in Major League Baseball and the NBA, NFL and NHL. They vote in polls for best sports attractions. They vote for winners in ESPN’s annual best in sports ESPYs. This year they voted for inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
So, if you vote for some baseball player to make the All-Star team, a football player to go to the Pro Bowl or an Olympic skier to win an ESPY, you can vote for your Senator, Congressman or Congresswoman, governor, state rep, mayor, or town councilor. You help determine how your tax dollars are spent by voting on bond questions. Tired of schools that are falling apart, potholes and crumbling bridges? Vote for those infrastructure bonds. Tired of high taxes? Vote against. But vote.
We live in politically turbulent times. Political vitriol, more intense than at any time in recent memory, spews from Republicans and Democrats alike. President Trump is more divider-in-chief than consensus builder. If you consider these mid-term elections as a referendum on the President’s performance, get out and vote.
And if you think your vote does not count, remember Nick Matiello. Two years ago, the incumbent Speaker of the House in Rhode Island retained his district seat by only 85 votes.
Sports World is a Fantasy Land in which talented men and women plays games and earn millions. But we live in Real World, where every day men and women work, pay taxes, raise families, fight terrorists in Godforsaken outposts, serve on town boards, and coach kids teams. The stakes in Real World are much higher, and you play a role in how they turn out. So, get out and vote.