Maybe I watched too much Schoolhouse Rock at an impressionable age, but I find the whole thing almost unbearably touching.
Take the Election Supply Box.
Here we are in a major democracy, the largest economy in the world, a SUPERPOWER. We are going to exercise our most sacred civic responsibility, evoking Lincoln and Jefferson and marble halls and lofty ideals about human equality and the right of self-determination. There are ballots and procedures and safeguards designed to make sure people can vote freely and securely and have their vote count. And that is WAY cool.
But along with the ballots and pens and Official Seals I also get a stapler and a roll of masking tape and a little packet of thumbtacks. Because you also need these things to make democracy work.
A week before Election Day I will be sitting in the midst of the unpacked supply boxes, taking inventory and filling out paperwork, and suddenly I will find myself clutching a packet of thumbtacks and fighting back tears. Because the Big Important Things like how we run our community and the future of our nation depend not only on ballots, but also on tiny mundane things. Like making sure the poll workers have some thumbtacks to post the street index so a campaign volunteer can get out the vote.
And that just about kills me Every Single Time.
So Monday night we prepped the garage as we have so many times before. I pulled out the bikes and assorted impedimenta (I forgot we even HAD a wading pool!). Everett hung up a set of old tablecloths (red white & blue, of course) to conceal the shelves of tools and paper towels and weed killer. I swept up the dust and grit that had accumulated since the last election, dragged in a table, a few chairs, and a lamp, and set up the booths.
We had our thumbtacks.
We were ready for democracy.