Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vote to Remember

Six weeks from today, nearly half of the adult population of these re-United States will prove undeserving of the representative democracy under which they thrive, shirking their highest responsibility (some would say DUTY) as a citizen. Forty-two days from today the other half (if they haven't already participated in some form of early voting--which, in a way, is a shirking of civic responsibility by not completely hearing out the candidates before casting a ballot) of the adult population of these re-United States will line up at their designated local polling place and participate in the single greatest right and privilege known to man.

Voting in our nation is a sacred right, bought for the many at the high price of sacrifice by a few. There are many ways to honor military veterans--voting is the best way. There are many ways to remember the ladies who strove to win suffrage for women--voting is the best way. There are many ways to recall the struggles for minority voting rights--voting is the best way. Many of the young men and women who laid down their lives to ensure our rights and defend our freedoms joined the struggle or went off to fight so young that they themselves had not yet had the opportunity to participate in the free elections for which they sacrificed.

Most of our founding fathers actually feared universal enfranchisement and a high voter turnout among the largely uneducated general population. They feared the mood of the mob taking root and producing wild, inedible fruit in the ballot box. Early requirements to vote, such as land ownership, male gender, and age, reflected this fear. The representative form of government, the division of national government into three co-equal and other-regulating branches, and the electoral college, were the mechanisms by which they sought to attenuate the wild spirit of the masses. But, I have come to believe that they were wrong not to trust the will of the people.

If our government is to remain the guarantor of our freedoms, ALL of us must participate in it--at a bare minimum by exercising our right and responsibility to cast an educated vote. I believe voting is more important than paying taxes, and as such, failure to vote should be punished in a much more severe way than is failure to pay taxes. Every adult citizen of our nation should be required to cast a ballot every time anything is brought to a vote--even if it is a ballot of abstention. Self-serving politicians can take advantage of low voter turnout much more easily than high voter turnout. Save yourself and our nation from them by voting.

Remember to vote, and vote to remember.
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