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Same Place, Different Feeling

I remembered the last time I was standing in line, waiting to hand over my driver's license and sign the form. It was in October. Early voting had commenced and I couldn't wait to vote for Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

I was excited. Elated. Happy, proud, and gleeful. Pick a positive feeling, and it probably pulsed through my veins as I took each step closer to the voting booth, closer to pressing those buttons and making my own version of history.

However, when I went to the same polling location last week, I had completely different feelings running through me. I was angry. Upset. Shocked, disturbed, and peeved. I was ticked off that I had to stand in line, fork over my license, scrawl my name and press a button to hopefully strike down a terrible amendment to Nashville's charter.

Nashville is in the midst of a potentially devastating campaign. (Catch all the details here.) People in better cities can't believe it, but there is a proposed amendment to make English the official language of Nashville. Doing so would make this thriving city seem close-minded, bigoted, and even racist. And this is why people on both sides of the ideological aisle (when it comes to some of our most divisive issues) unite in their displeasure of this legislation.

I hope my Nashville readers do, too.

The election is wasting taxpayer money at a time when each dollar counts more than ever.

It sends a terrible message to the rest of the world that we're an inhospitable city.

It's a fairly worthless piece of legislation, proposed by someone who simply wants to display authority - and I hate nothing more than people who abuse power.

But here's the worst part: you have to actually go vote against this thing. You just have to. No, it's not as glamorous as voting for Obama. It's not as prolific as voting for mayor. And it certainly ain't like picking who's going to be Homecoming Queen. But if those of us in our right mind don't take the time out of our day to go and cast a ballot against this amendment (and the second one, as well), then the stupid (as in non-intelligent) bigots (as in racist) will pass this thing.

Which would be terrible and terrifying.

Here's the deal: go vote against amendments one and two. Take a friend with you. In fact, take five. For anyone who fills their car with people who vote no, I'll send you a copy of my book, New Day Revolution. Just email me and tell me that every seat belt was occupied and that you hate the fact that you had to go actually strike this thing down. We'll lament over email and then I'll get a signed copy in the mail to you so tomorrow will be better - and hopefully a bit more inclusive.

C'mon, Nashville. We're better than this.

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