By the time you read this, the campaigning will be over, the winners will be planning their victory speeches, the losers will be smiling through gritted teeth ... and the fat lady will have sung the finale to the 2002 primary elections.
In other words, right now is as good a time as any to remember with the help of some of the brightest lights in American history that who wins or who loses isn't nearly so important as the process by which political fates are determined.
"The right of voting for representation is the primary right by which other rights are protected." Thomas Paine
"Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets." Abraham Lincoln
"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." Franklin D. Roosevelt
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." Emma Goldman
"It doesn't matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in." Graffiti in London, 1970s
"The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men." Lyndon B. Johnson
To those of you who took time to vote in this primary election, we salute you.
To those who felt that your vote won't make a difference, you'll have the next few years to live with that decision.