This week in history: all our presidents got elected

It’s hard to think about anything else right now, as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t even watch teevee! That’s the thing about the internet: if you need a fix of pretty much anything, you can get it, and get it immediately. Sometimes hitting “refresh” over at or feels as good as hitting the release on the morphine drip. I mean, I imagine it’s like hitting the release on the morphine drip. . . . Ohhh, yeah. Hit me.

Living in a swing state is a new feeling for us North Carolinians. We’ve had dozens of visits from presidential candidates and their surrogates this time around. Our state’s changing demographics have something to do with it, sure, but the candidates also have a lot to do with it. No offense to white males, but people who look like that have been winning presidential campaigns in America for hundreds of years. Presidential politics got a lot more interesting this time around as Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and Independents all presented Pres/VP tickets that would break that tradition.

Is it still a democracy when only a quarter or even a third of eligible voters actually vote? There’s a reason (well, okay, several reasons, but bear with me . . . ) American voter turnout has often been embarrassingly low. The way I see it–having been one of those non-voters at various points in my life–non-voters skip elections because either they don’t want to vote (they don’t like their options or they don’t see any difference among them), or they can’t vote. Not showing up to vote is, in fact, a vote. It’s a vote for more options; it’s a vote for better access.

This time, with all signs pointing toward record turnout, it looks like we might be getting closer to this whole participatory democracy thing we like to talk about so much, in which more people than ever vote by showing up and marking a ballot. It’s not simply a matter of identity politics; it’s about actual democracy.

So, here’s to getting closer to our democratic ideal. If you haven’t done it yet, go out and practice some democracy tomorrow!