How important is it to vote?
So important that I drove 15 hours in two days, including nine hours with limited sleep the previous evening to cast my vote for president on Tuesday evening.
I don't tell my story for any pats on the back, but just to emphasize how crucial it is for all of us to exercise one of our most precious of Constitutional rights.
When I arrived at Crooked Billet Elementary School about 45 minutes before the polls in Pennsylvania were scheduled to close, I saw that many others valued their voting rights just as much as I did as the lines of Hatboro residents weaved down the hallways and practically out the front doors.
As I left at 7:56 p.m., having cast my vote, there were still long lines of people, waiting patiently for their turn.
Later on Tuesday night as I watched the election returns come in, proclaiming that President Barack Obama had won re-election and that he had carried the state of Pennsylvania, my thoughts were carried back in history.
I wondered if anyone else thought of the events on the site of Crooked Billet Elementary on a day some 234 years ago?
At the very place where I cast my vote, men shed their blood in the Battle of Crooked Billet on May 1, 1778, fighting for freedom from tyranny and for what ultimately resulted in my right to vote for president.
As most local citizens could tell you, the Battle of Crooked Billet ended in defeat as General John Lacey's men were chased into retreat in the nearby woods of Bucks County, with 20 percent of his troops either killed, captured, or wounded.
The United States of 1778 was a place where citizens were divided in political thought, worried about their fragile economy and were frightened about their future.
It sort of sounds like where we find ourselves today.
Coming from a highly political family, I have long realized the importance of working together and exercising the tried and true art of compromise.
My cousin Carl Albert served his country for 30 years as a congressman from the third district of Oklahoma, rising through the Democratic party to become the 54th Speaker of the House from 1971-1977.
This former Rhodes Scholar twice was next in line for the presidency, under the provisions of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as our country weaved its way through the dark times of Watergate.
In the midst of crisis, my cousin had it within his power to maneuver himself into the White House after the resignations of Vice President Spiro Agnew and President Richard Nixon.
But Albert always told his family that he felt it would weaken the Constitution to manipulate himself into the presidency, even though many in his party suggested he choose that path.
It would be hard to imagine anyone within the leadership either the Republican, or Democratic parties making a similar decision for such a noble reason today.
In the past 20 years, both parties have surged further and further into partisanship, thinking selfishly on nearly every position and each vote.
Such a strategy has left us with a country divided and with a citizenry fearful about what comes next.
Somehow, our leaders figured all of that out when they were faced with such problems in the years after 1778 and it started with that understanding of working together and compromising for the good of all, instead of thinking only of what would be best for them individually.
It has been a very difficult path, through wars, depressions and issues like slavery and civil rights that tore us apart before bringing us back together.
But on the day after Election Day 2012, all of us who voted have let our voices be known and it is time for those we elected to work together.