Some of my most powerful overseas memories are of seeing folks in Sri Lanka and the Philippines roast in the tropical sun for hours, just waiting for a chance to vote. In places where people have far too little control over their lives, the opportunity to have some sort of say – however minimal – can be inspiring.

Contrast that with the same sight in the United States, where we have long lines of voters before and on Election Day. As this article explains, those lines are part of a Republican effort to discourage turn-out. They are much more about voter suppression than inspiration.

Paul Krugman captures how such suppression is woven into a larger pattern of an election that in effect has been rigged against Hillary Clinton. His astute analysis contradicts Donald Trump’s whining about how a win will be stolen from him. Krugman closes by rightly praising both Hillary for the campaign she’s run and the Americans who lined up to hopefully make her presidency a reality today, despite the forces arrayed against her.

Which brings me to Raul. I found his two-man company online yesterday when looking to get my house’s damaged sewer line fixed. He quickly came to my home, diagnosed the problem with a micro-camera at the end of a line he snaked through the pipe, explained it to me in his broken English and returned today to fix it.

What impressed me most about Raul, though, was not his excellent work ethic. Rather, it was the first thing he said when he came to my door this morning: “Did you vote yet?” He assured me that he had.

Which in turn brings me to this powerful, positive piece by Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post. He describes the many Americans whom we might not remember as we despair over how a snake like Donald Trump could get this far. He talks about the people who dream of coming to America and who actually make it here. He explains what Trump will never get about them and this country as he drags us through his sewer. And he reassures us that we’re better than this sordid campaign has made us seem.

Let’s hope today’s results prove Hiatt right.



Based in Oakland, California, Stephen Golub writes, consults and teaches about international development, with a particular focus on justice, democracy, human rights and governance issues. Currently teaching part-time at Central European University in Budapest and previously at the University of California at Berkeley, he has worked in over 40 countries and with such organizations as Amnesty International, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Ford and Open Society Foundations, the U.K. Department for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and the World Bank

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