Our greatest civic ritual

What in the history of mankind would make you think that such a thing was possible?

This year my polling place was across the street from my apartment. Nice, I thought. I showed up at 6:05am wearing a pullover and no coat, expecting to be in and out. It turns out that they had five voting booths and a line that went on for blocks. There was a guy ahead of me in line wearing a gorilla suit. His vote counts the same as mine. It was 40 degrees out. An election official named Ron propped the door open just as I got inside, creating a nice wind tunnel, making it even colder indoors than out. Thanks for that, Ron. Eighty minutes later, I am back at home writing this while trying to unthaw.

Good God, I love Election Day.

Aristotle conceived of politics in a democracy as citizens gathering in the public square to collectively determine how we ought to order our life together. As is often misunderstood, however, we do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic, where the people decide who gets to make the decisions. And so every four years we have Election Day. We decide who will, in the immortal words of George W. Bush, be the decider.

Read the full article at The American.

Michael R. Strain is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

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About the Author

 

Michael R.
Strain
  • Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconomics. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the policy journals Tax Notes and National Affairs. Dr. Strain also writes frequently for popular audiences on topics including labor market policy, jobs, minimum wages, federal tax and budget policy, and the Affordable Care Act, among others.  His essays and op-eds have been published by National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Forbes, Bloomberg View, and a variety of other outlets. He is frequently interviewed by major media outlets, and speaks often on college campuses. Before joining AEI he worked on the research team of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and was the manager of the New York Census Research Data Center, both at the U.S. Census Bureau.  Dr. Strain began his career in the macroeconomics research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  He is a graduate of Marquette University, and holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from Cornell.


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