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Cast a ballot, make a mark

Come Tuesday evening, there will be plenty of celebrating and plenty of complaining, depending on which side of the Amendment 1 issue people stand. The one thing that both sides will share in common is a wake-up call, and the well-earned pride they should take in trying to make a difference.

There are a thousand armchair politicians out there, and the hotter the topic, the louder the grumbling gets in their corner. But until they hoist their bodies out of the armchairs and down to the voting booth, their voices are like cigarette smoke on the breeze - annoying and insubstantial.

If Amendment 1 has done nothing else, it has galvanized voters to shake off the usual polling day apathy. It has prompted the sliders in society (those who slide along, content to let government function - or malfunction - without their involvement) to get involved and to learn more about who's driving the bus and where.

The Amendment 1 controversy has made many of us look more closely at our government, our constitution, our children, ourselves. It has divided camps that usually stand untied; it has united stranger bedfellows than many could imagine. Most of all - it has made us think, act, react, and think again - and it has made us question. It does not matter whether Amendment 1 preserves or demolishes the status quo - there will never be a status quo again, now that the voters of Alabama are educating themselves and studying issues, and ridding themselves of civic lethargy.

On Tuesday, do not crawl back to the armchair and gripe about things beyond your control. Got to the polls, and take control. Vote on the Amendment 1 referendum.