I voted a little while ago and had my two boys, ages 6 and 11, with me. I can't remember an election when I felt this gloomy about the likely outcome. But, as always, the act of voting filled me with pride and humility. Having my kids with me made the moment that much more special.

This will sound hokey, but, during our drive to the polling station, I gave them a lecture about the debt we owe past generations of Americans--for creating the institutions of democracy and, over the years, fighting to protect them. Then I told them about our obligation to continue that work, starting with the act of voting in which they were about to take part. 

When we walked up to the voting booth, I let each of them take turns filling in the bubbles. They did so with exquisite caution, making sure not to stray outside the lines and risk spoiling the ballot. Maybe they had heard what I said. Or maybe they just are very good at coloring.

Afterwards, we got goopy Chinese food and talked about the World Series. My preferred party probably won't do well tonight. But I'm proud, and grateful, to be an American.

OK, end of sentimental and patriotic interlude. I now return you to your regular scheduled blogging.