And so we come to the first Tuesday in November, aka Election Day, aka the most important day on the calendar that isn't a federal holiday. (I'd ditch Columbus Day in exchange for this one, just for the record.)
My feelings on the importance of voting have been summed up numerous times, so they don't need to be repeated here, except to say: Get out and vote, dummy.
This is one of those off-off-years for elections, where nothing much is happening federally and all the attention is focused on state and local races. Here in New York City, we're electing public officials, including a mayor to replace Michael Bloomberg. I think we've actually got more people running in this race than ran for President last year, which makes sense if you think about it. Gracie Mansion has a view of the city skyline and Long Island; the White House has a view of the Capitol Building. Which would you want to look at?
The top two candidates are Bill De Blasio and Joe Lhota. DiBlasio is the favored candidate going into Election Day, largely because Lhota seems to think he's campaigning to replace Bloomberg as Least Likable Person In New York City instead of mayor. Maybe someone should have told him. Regardless, my choice was easy to make, since Lhota's biggest accomplishment as head of the MTA was to jack up my cost of living every time he ran into a problem.
Also running as a lesser party candidate is John Catsimatides. He ran earlier in the Republican primary, which he lost because (a) his campaign lynchpin was putting his silly nickname ("Cats") on all his flyers and (b) he appears at all times to be melting. There's also the "Rent Is Too Damn High" guy, although at this point he's pretty much a tourist attraction, like a more civic-minded Naked Cowboy.
We're also electing a Comptroller, Public Advocate, and a new City Council. The biggest story in any of those races is that, during the primary season, former governor Eliot Spitzer actually thought New Yorkers would put a guy who spent 80 large on prostitutes in charge of the city's checkbook. We're crazy, but we're not stupid.
There are also some ballot initiatives. The big one is a constitutional amendment that would legalize casino gambling in a limited form. I voted against it because I smelled graft, and because the last thing I want is more shitty advertisements for casinos on my TV. I still haven't recovered from 2009's Mohegan Sun ads. I also voted against selling some public land in the Adirondacks to a mining company, because duh.
So that's how I participated in our democracy today. I hope you do the same.