Archive for October 25th, 2020

Poll Dancers

I was going to write this morning about the death of singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker yesterday at the age of 78. He was an upstate NY guy, born and raised in Oneonta, who moved to and became synonymous with the state of Texas. Most of you will no doubt best know him for his song Mr. Bojangles. Sad to see another favorite pass away.

But I feel compelled this morning to comment on the remarkable turnout taking place at polling locations around the country. Huge enthusiastic crowds lined the streets of nearly every city and town offering early in-person voting. Records for voter turnout are falling everywhere. Even in my home county, the lines yesterday on the first day of early voting in NY were well over an hour long.

I read of a guy who rolled by one such line of waiting voters in his pickup truck and yelled out his window to another guy standing near the end of the line.

“How long you been waiting?” he asked.

“Four goddamn years!” the fellow in line responded as the other people in line responded with loud applause.

I can’t tell you how heartening this turnout and enthusiasm is for someone has long decried the political indifference of so many in this country. This is the dream of democracy, to have the vast majority of people engaged and passionate.

Unfortunately, there are those out there who try to suppress the vote and make voting much more difficult than it was ever intended to be. They reduce the number of polling locations, shorten the hours, use archaic rules for disallowing votes and disenfranchising potential voters and just plain try to stop people from voting. They even try to sabotage the US Postal Service.

Nobody should have to wait four. six, or eight hours to vote. You have to ask why they so want to keep voters from voting. They do not seem to desire a true representative democracy.

But the more they try to suppress the vote, the more it hardens the resolve by those affected to overcome this callous disrespect for them and our system.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

People are getting out there. They wait and wait, sometimes for hours in rain and wind. They bring seats and snacks.

And some bring the music and the fun. At a line in Philadelphia it was pure joy as the crowd and one particularly exuberant dancer moved to Mississippi Cha Cha Slide from DJ Slide. A group from Philly, Joy to the Polls, is providing music and entertainment at polling sites around city. There’s a short clip below of them in action.

And in the one below it, a marching band is providing some stirring entertainment for voters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Just great stuff.

Like I said, it’s heartening to see such response at a time when it is so necessary. So, if you find yourself in line today or sometime this coming week waiting to vote, keep the joy up. There’s some Mississippi Cha Cha Slide at the bottom for you to have on hand if you feel like dancing a bit.

Have a good day and don’t let up, folks.

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