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Originally published: 2012-11-09 11:21:25
Last modified: 2012-11-09 11:25:11

Our view: Casting about for excitement? Look at the US

After nearly $6 billion in overall campaign spending, unprecedented numbers of both political advertisements and early voters, and polls that were as advanced as modern technology would allow, Americans went to the voting booth Tuesday to commit a refreshingly simple act: one voter, one ballot.

As the climax to a long and highly contentious election cycle, such an ending could seem almost anticlimactic.

Except that it isn’t. Our elections are as climatic as they come.

Tens of millions of voters lined up at their polling sites Tuesday intent on casting their votes. Many lined up in the early morning hours, despite cold or inclement weather. Many refigured daily schedules to offer testimony to their political convictions. Many scurried after work to secure a place in line before the cutoff time.

Of those tens of millions, some found the message of President Barack Obama a motivating force.

Others were charged by the words of Mitt Romney. Some, undecided even at the point of submitting a ballot, voted because Tuesday was Election Day, and on Election Day in the United States of America, that’s what you do.

Observers from around the world marvel at this. A journalist from China spoke with passion during a Tuesday morning interview about her country’s fascination with the American process.

China, too, will have a change in leadership this month — as soon as the country’s ruling Communist Party unveils its new leadership team. That team, the Politburo Standing Committee, predicts the Chicago Tribune, will be an all-male cast whose political instincts are not centered on reform.

It is this, the ineffectualness of the average citizen to voice a decision in the leadership of the world’s second-largest economy, that is truly anticlimactic — a whimper when a shout is in order.

One voter, one vote and the liberty to choose: Beyond the rhetoric, beyond the advertisements, beyond the posturing, this process is what excites our nation — and the eyes of the world who wonder at such freedom.