Eight years ago, I wrote that the Israeli media are reporting more about the U.S. elections than local news – or something to that effect. Well, it’s happening again. Israeli television, radio, newspapers and internet news sites are covering the Presidential campaign down to the last detail. Our regional neighbors are interested too, but they watch with envy. For them, democratic elections are “up in the heavens and beyond the oceans.” For their leaders, free elections are a distasteful foreign practice, just a waste of time. For us, they’re an affirmation of shared values. We’re curious about how our favorite foreign country does it. And we’re proud that it’s been doing it for 240 years.
I also wrote: “Candidates — new or tried-and-true — rise to the top based on nothing more than the votes of the people. And that’s an amazing thing.” My friends really appreciated that at the time. But back then, the one rising to the top was young, black, liberal, and oh so politically correct. Today, the one who may be the people’s choice is not-young, white, of questionable ideology, and oh so politically incorrect. My friends may not appreciate that so much today. Yet, the same system that worked eight years ago is still in place. It’s still the people, yes the people, who will choose. Not the professors, not the pundits, not even the celebrities.
Trudy, I and Aharon have sent in our absentee ballots. Eitan didn’t get a ballot probably because he forgot to register. Ami will vote in DC, where he lives. Many of our Israeli friends are astounded to learn that we can and do vote in the U.S. election, and that the little Greener family has a say in choosing the leaders of the two most important countries in the world. It’s a right and a privilege that we cherish.
My 98-year-old mother in southern Florida has been waiting eight years to vote for Hilary Clinton. She proudly wears the t-shirt we bought her back then. She received her absentee ballot and sent it back the next day. If it hadn’t arrived, her aides would be wheeling her to the polling station on November 8. Mom was actually born over two years before women had the right to vote in America. You can see her picture and read a little about her, and about many other similarly aged women, on a lovely site called “I Waited 96 Years.”
So, it’s time once again for all the people to have their say – those who are voting for the first time and those who are voting for the 19th time. Mom, the eyes of the world are on you.