Vote, Or Not

4 11 2014

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Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

I voted this morning… stopped in on my way to work. I got the sticker to prove it! I politely refused the candidate handouts on my way in, and I said my “hellos” the nice poll workers who are also my neighbors. I was in and out in three minutes.

Voting always makes me feel good about myself, and my country. I firmly believe that my vote counts, and in some small way I am involved in shaping our laws and policies. It’s interesting there is nothing explicitly stated in the constitution about our “right to vote”, only amendments that guard against discrimination – age, race, sex, etc. But the language of our constitution fills us with the pride and sense of duty that many have. We often talk of the battles fought to ensure this pride, and of those that “have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”*

True patriots have made those sacrifices, not me. But I am patriotic. I feel that pride very strongly, and voting is how I express it best.

The news is reporting about expected low voter participation, and which candidates will be adversely or positively affected. Reporters are at the various polling places talking about turnout or issues with machines. The pundits are having their day… their fifteen minutes of fame.

My social media feed is full of people talking about how they got out and voted this morning… Awesome! I’m glad. There are also statements saying that “if you don’t vote today, you have no right to complain in the future”. This notion that participating in the election gives you more rights than others makes me uneasy.

handRights… such an interesting word. Technically, most of us are “allowed” to vote without restriction. But like anything else, there are rules we have to follow… registrations, residency, frequency, etc. When we talk about rights, we should make sure that we fully understand them.

My feeling is that if you don’t vote today, you have your reasons. Maybe a last-minute business trip or perhaps you are sick or unable to get out of your house. Or maybe the candidates or issues didn’t inspire you – a sadly increasing situation.

If the spirit of our constitution inspires us to have the freedom to vote, then part of that freedom must be the choice not to vote. I’m not a constitutional law scholar, but this is the sense I make of it. So, while I revel in the opportunity to vote, I won’t look down on those who don’t think as I do.

Vote, or don’t vote. And complain all you want… enjoy that freedom of speech!

LET’S NOT GET INTO THAT MESS!

* Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mrs. Bixby, 1864

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2 responses

4 11 2014
John Whitesall

Reblogged this on The Global Soccer Network..

5 11 2014
Gr8JohnL

Thanks, my friend!!

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