For me, voting is an existential act. In some ways it provides you with a snapshot of your beliefs, political philosophy, and worldview at a given time in your adult life. It is done in secret, so no one knows for whom you voted. You can tell people that you voted for their candidate without doing so. Yes, I have done that. But since it is my existential act, I don’t really care for whom you vote.

I have voted in 11 elections. In my very first election, I was in law school. I voted for McGovern. Everyone I knew voted for him. I was surprised he lost carrying only Massachusetts. It was a hard lesson. Then I voted for Carter because Ford pardoned that rat, Nixon.

There followed what I will call my Era of Free Markets, during which I voted for Reagan twice , and then his vice president George Bush I. I was beginning to make a little money at my law firm, and I wanted to pay less taxes. Greed was good back then.

I went with Bill Clinton because I liked his folksy hillbilly charm, and I had read Pere Bush’s lips regarding no new taxes. Weirdly, I then voted for good old Bob Dole. I can’t remember why. Maybe it was the drinking. I think it was because he was a war hero with a crippled arm and was sarcastic. Also, Bill’s charm was wearing thin.

Stupidly, I voted for Bush II over Gore because Gore did not distance himself enough from the president who received oral sex in the White House. I blame my Catholic childhood. It was my worst vote and greatest electoral regret. Since sackcloth and ashes were no longer a popular option, I chose as my self-punishment a vow that I would not vote Republican for 20 years. So far that vow has been easy to keep.

I voted for Kerry and twice for Barack. I would enthusiastically vote for Obama again if I could. I will of course enthusiastically vote for Ms. Clinton. I have forgiven the mean things she said about Obama in 2008. She is a sinner, but her sins are venial. I never want to tell my grandchildren, or really anyone, that I voted for a laughably uninformed misogynist for president of the United States rather than the first woman president in U.S. history.

For those keeping score, I have voted for six Democrats and five Republicans. Pretty independent, I’d say.

I’m not going to vote in any other race because the Democrat will win or the election is uncontested, and all the judges will be retained. I call it the Cook County charade of representative government. I’m content to have the rest of you decide for me. Never vote in an uncontested election. It only encourages them.

I’m against the referendum that would lockbox road funds for the construction industry and unions at the expense of education and social services. I’m fine with merging Recorder of Deeds with County Clerk, mandating Illinois workers’ sick leave, and the unicorn-catching desire to amend the constitution to permit greater regulation of guns. The last is so Oak Park. And I mean that in a good way.

Finally, I’m all in on building the new pool because I’m so very weary of the discussion on an issue that will be gone in a couple of years when the current parents’ children have graduated from the high school. I feel bad for the poor school board, which has worked on this forever. 

Oh, and I have voted for every referendum proposed since I moved here in 1976.

And for the record I will accept the results of the election no matter the outcome. Just get it over.

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John Hubbuch

John is an Indiana native who moved to Oak Park in 1976. He served on the District 97 school board, coached youth sports and, more recently, retired from the law. That left him time to become a Wednesday...