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Voting is for Old People

Just got back from casting my ballot, and once again I was struck by the composition of the voters all around me, as I have been the last few elections. Wildly multicultural, smiling and delighted to be there, hippies and businesswomen, but almost universally old, like me.

You want to know why Social Security is "The Third Rail of American Politics" (touch it and you die)? You wonder why politicians fear the wrath of AARP as much as they fear the NRA? Look at the people who show up at the polls every.single.time.


My mom is in her late 80s. She's mostly housebound these days, gets out to go shopping close by or to have brunch with friends, but the one day of the year she will gird her loins and go into town by any means necessary is November 4th. If no one's there to give her a ride, she'll bite her Depression-era tongue and hire a car service. When Hawaii's new voter ID law briefly looked like it was going to deny her a card because her birth certificate name didn't match her driver's license name, she was on the phone with me, almost tearfully pleading with me to get on a bus to Albany to roust out her official marriage records from 1946. Happily, that didn't have to happen. But that's how important it is to her. She'd crawl through broken glass to vote for dogcatcher.

This is why most every election caters to us old fogeys, in one way or another. Here in lefty New York City that doesn't skew conservative, but in most places it does. I wish this wasn't the case. But it is.

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