Ever hear the expression "The more things change, the more they stay the same"?
As part of the many hours of voting that culminated in President Obama's stunning and glorious victory in this week's presidential race, I volunteered to be part of his Voter Protection Team as a poll observer with colleagues and those monitoring the poll for the Romney-Ryan campaign. I was located at the Kenosha Public Museum on the shores of Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I also volunteered four years ago at the same location. Lorraine Fernandes, a long time employee of the Rust Oleum Corporation in Kenosha, was the chief inspector for this location just as she was back then. What I observed of her and her staff last election cycle were detailed in my sixth piece (this will be my 102nd) for HuffPost.
Remember, the more things change the more they stay the same. Lorraine and her staff again did a splendid job to ensure that every person's constitutional right to vote was protected and ensured. Her operation was flawless and worthy of recognition. There was little to complain about, and all voter concerns were handled with dignity and respect for what election day is all about. This was democracy at its best and exemplified the patriotic nature of the American spirit.
Throughout the many hours of my assignment (6:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.), I could not help but observe the varied folks who were assigned to this particular polling location to cast their vote. They were young, first timers, those appearing to be down-on-their-luck, some perhaps out-of-work, elderly who required the assistance of a walker, wheelchair or other person or device to assist them, the nicely dressed, the not so nicely dressed, bearded and clean-shaven men, mothers with little ones in tow, body types of all descriptions, and those that looked like armed services veterans, who "wore" the scars and disabilities from their time protecting the country. The day seemed framed by what appeared to be a middle class, working electorate. I made similar observations four years ago.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So, to those who spent millions of dollars to back political candidates this election cycle, or to those who are still "crying in their spilt milk" over the results or otherwise whining about Obama's victory, you need to be reminded that the real wealth, power and authority in our country may not lie with any of you, but with each and every person from whatever means or walk of life who makes our democracy possible by having walked into the polling booth and having then pulled a lever or filled in a circle beside a candidate's name. This year it was either for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney as well as a variety of others seeking public office. Four years ago, it was Obama and McCain. It matters not since the democratic process on election day should never change
As well, in his victory speech at the McCormick Place in Chicago the evening of November 6, Obama thanked all those who worked so tirelessly to support his campaign. In defeat, so did Romney echo the same sentiment for those who assisted him. But the real victors, as they were four years ago and for every year to come -- and how it should always be in our democracy -- are not only all Americans who cast ballots, but also those who made that effort possible, like a Loraine Fernandes and her staff.
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