National Holidays? Trade Columbus Day For Election Day

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Election Day should become a national holiday.

Doing so would encourage greater voter turnout and celebrate the freedom and responsibility we share to decide who leads this nation.

Yes, some people would use the holiday to go fishing but many would vote on their way to the lake or on their way home, casting for fish and casting their ballots.

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If government and businesses are worried about losing another day of work, trade in Columbus Day.

Put Election Day in its place.

Doing so would keep the number of federal holidays at 10 and the switch would be quite appropriate.

Columbus never discovered America. There were people living here when he arrived. So let's take Columbus Day off the national holiday calendar and replace it with a day that allows some to discover, and others to rediscover, their role in writing American history.

It doesn't make much sense to have Columbus Day and the Fourth of July as national holidays and not show Election Day the same respect. In many ways, Election Day is really Independence Day, anyway. It is far more important to flex our electoral muscle, as a people, than have a cookout and, maybe, remember what July 4, 1776 was all about.

Election Day, in fact, is what July 4, 1776 means to us, in many contextual ways, as a people today.

Washington's Birthday is another federal holiday. Okay, it's the same matter of context here as Independence Day.

Creating a national holiday to promote electing a president today would contribute far more to this nation's history than a national holiday in honor of the first president elected to lead the United States of America more than 200 years ago.

There will be those who don't think we should make it easier to vote. There are some who actually want to suppress ballot access. There is an argument for wanting voters to know what they're doing-who they're voting for and why. Quality of vote versus quantity of vote. But making Election Day a national holiday would also contribute, if a proactive approach is taken by our society, to the quality of vote.

Making Election Day a national holiday shows greater respect to Election Day.

That will, inevitably, encourage more people to show greater respect, as well.

And, let us hope, political parties, candidates and Super PACs.

If we have a national holiday to celebrate the American president who couldn't tell a lie, perhaps that will lead to fewer candidates, political party statements and Super PACs who find telling lies far too easy a thing to do.