Touching on Elections
When I was at Yeshiva U, there was a funny, if possibly JUL-ian, anecdote going around that was supposed to have happened the previous year, either in one of the Freshman shiurim or at a local Yeshiva HS. The story went that a Rebbi was lecturing his class of teenage boys about the laws of negiah - i.e., the prohibition of pre-marital physical contact between the sexes. He made the point that such contact causes certain well-known "physical reactions" in the male, and that's why negiah was forbidden.
One of the bolder students spoke up: "But Rebbe, I hold hands with and hug my girlfriend all the time, and I don't have those reactions!"
Without missing a beat, the Rebbe responded "Well then, maybe you have the wrong girlfriend!"
Great comeback. But there's an assumption behind the punchline that's just plain wrong. When you're dealing with hormone-drenched teenage boys, especially ones who are mostly isolated from female social contact, you don't exactly need an perfect J-Date match to get them going. Pretty much any female with a pulse will do. They're turned on by the very idea of interacting with the opposite sex. Whole libraries of books are written for us long-married types, on how to re-kindle that early thrill and excitement.
And now back to my post title. Does this relate to yesterday's elections? Well yes, I think it does (and not only in the Emily Litella sense, vi-hamayvin yavin).
Maybe your guy lost yesterday, and you're pretty bummed about it. Or maybe, like me, you weren't particularly sold on any of the candidates. But it's worth remembering how amazing it is just to be able to vote at all - to exercise your mandate in that free and democratic process. For that one moment when you pull that switch, push that button, or punch that card, your opinion counts exactly as much as that of the most and least powerful citizens of the country - no more and no less.
Like those keyed-up teenage boys for whom the very existence of girls is an adventure and delight, there is tremendous joy in just being able to vote, regardless of who's on the ballot. I know I feel it every time I step in that booth.
It's a privilege and honor that many of our enemies will, sadly, never know.