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So here’s another one of those dumb Democrat ideas, and being one of those I think it has merit, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts for the folks who quit reading this right after the word Democrat.

I’ll start with a challenge: Give me one really good reason why Election Day shouldn’t be a national holiday. Hearing none, I’ll assume that we the people would enjoy getting a day off in June (primary and local election day) and a day off in November in any given election year. So is that a bad thing?

For the record I’m retired, so there are no personal benefits for me because I have every day off. If our democracy suffers from anything it’s voter turnout, there have been many elections when less than 20 percent of eligible voters vote. This may explain how we ended up where we are today, and what you think of that depends on how entrenched your anti-government feelings are. I assume that most of the non-voters don’t vote because they don’t think it matters, they don’t have the time and they think they suffer no consequences by being silent.

So let’s take care of the time issue by declaring Election Day a holiday — after all, voting is really all we the people can do about charting our future. Elections really do have consequences; whomever or whatever candidate/issue wins gets to either make the laws or enforce them and we the people have committed to live by the rule of law rather than the sword.

And this peaceful (OK, sometimes it gets strenuous) transition of our government is something that we the people should celebrate like we do the Fourth of July. We really don’t need fireworks or parades and such, rather I think we should celebrate the freedom to vote in any way we want to. To me this is our most sacred right because it assures we the people have a voice in our destiny.

Respecting this right has allowed 50 states and thousands of communities to not only set their own destinies but more importantly to peacefully coexist. It has taken millenniums for mankind to achieve this kind of civilization. Think about Europe, the Mideast, Africa, Far East, the Soviet Union — all of them possess rather blood-filled histories, too many of them still do. Then think about our borders with Canada, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, and most likely none of us is interested in slaughtering each other.

Each state, county or city develops its own personality. Life is different in Fargo compared to Williston, Bismarck to Mandan, etc. Life is different in California than it is here but we’ve agreed that as long as they let us run our place we won’t try to run theirs.

As a nation all 50 states have agreed to live under federal rule, which may not always look like a place where peaceful transactions occur, but we the people have agreed to live under whatever laws they pass — and the elected folks who get to decide our destiny only get the chance to do so when we the people vote to give it to them.

Anyway, I’ve always tried to get folks out to vote and having a day off to do it seems like a good idea. And so what if a lot of folks vote before Election Day — if they voted they deserve a day off to celebrate their right to choose who gets to run the place.

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Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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