I treat the right to vote like my father used to treat his beloved Cadillac.
I drive it every chance I get and you are in a world of trouble if you touch it, much less try to take it from me.
Unlike Daddy’s Caddy, the vote is not supposed to be a luxury item enjoyed by a few people.
I have sat at the feet of women who didn’t cast a ballot, for fear of violence, until after 1965. I know well that the right to vote is only as powerful as the path to the voting booth is clear. Listening to stories of how it used to be, of enduring fear and intimidation while standing in line as voter registration officials took 7 hour lunches or went to medical appointments for 8 hours straight, I learned exactly how a right without access is a right in name only.
To our national shame, voter suppression did not go away after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.
Hurdles like Voter ID, designed to hinder access the polls, are a current conservative tactic du jour.
But I have a little project.
Tisn’t much, but many a powerful happening started from a simple action.
I pledge to ask everyone I know whether they are registered to vote and what state they are registered to vote in. If they are registered in a Voter ID state, I’ll ask them if they have the required identification to vote.
If they don’t have the required identification, I will help them obtain it.
And then I promise to do everything in my power to educate that voter and every voter I know about the abomination that is voter suppression.
I’m calling it my Caddy Pledge.
I hope that all y’all will treat the right to vote like the precious thing it is…
…and take it for a drive to show it off on Election Day in November.
Because listening to a candidate say he doesn’t care about half the country is insulting, but trying to negotiate with that fool if he gets elected would be a nightmare.