Freedom requires exercise. Without it, a democracy gets flabby, its arteries calcify, its heart dies. 

Chrissy and I arrived at the polls in Old Forge around 8 a.m. and cast ballots 83 and 84. The kindly constable on duty told me the count is never that high before noon in our precinct. He said there was a long line when the polls opened at 7, a sight he’s never seen before. 

More than 100 million Americans had already voted by dawn today. One wonders who is left to vote between now and 8 p.m. If that’s YOU, you know what to do. Despite the excited testimony of the constable, our experience wasn’t much different from any other year. Everyone wore masks and Plexiglas separated workers from voters, but everything else was the same. 

It felt good to vote. Always does, but considering the stakes, I have never felt better about being an American exercising a freedom bought with the blood, sweat and sacrifice of countless Americans before me. 

Tomorrow is bound to be ugly in many ways, but I believe America is bigger — WE are better — than the battles ahead. Tomorrow will be along directly, but today is RIGHT NOW. Our country and the ideas and ideals it was founded upon are calling us to rise to their defense. 

To the ramparts!