Today, I'm the boss
Today, November 4, 1952, I will walk into a voting booth just around the corner from home and tell everybody how I want my country run.
Today, I am the boss.
In a way, of course, I'm boss in my country every day of the year. Government by the people, they say. The people, when you come down to it, is me.
But I don't work full time at governing. I've got my own job to do — a living to earn, a lawn to mow, kids to play with and bawl out and love and look after. So, for the hard job of running the country, I hire other men — smarter fellows than myself, I hope, but with the same kind of heart and purpose.
They govern for me — but I keep tabs. I listen to what they say. I watch what they do. It's a big country I live in, and there's room for different ways of looking at things. I vote for the people who see things as I do, and if enough other people agree, that the way thing gets done.
That's what it means to be the boss in your own country.
Now, there are places in the world where a man like me is not the boss. They don't let him vote. Or they march him to some public place and tell him whom to vote for. I think the voiceless people of those lands are watching me as I leave my house today saying: "There goes a lucky man."
In this country of mine we love freedom so much, and hate force so much, that I am not even forced to vote. I could stay home today if I liked. I could sleep late and take it easy and let others doe the job of choosing.
I could — but who'd want to? What spirited man or woman would loaf through a day like this, when he can go out and write boldly on the page of history: "Here's how I want things run in my country"?
No, today I am the boss and I must act like a boss. Today, I must vote. My freedom, my happiness, my pride as an American, are bound up in that simple and wonderful act.
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company
from a LIFE magazine, October 20, 1952 at Google Books.