Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Vote - or don't complain

I remember reading about a mayor of some town who was too busy to vote on election day, and lost by one vote.

If he, whoever he is or was, is still around, he could tell you how important it is that you vote tomorrow (if you have not done so already, as 800,000+ citizens in the great state of Maryland have in early voting).

Image result for voting boothTo me, it's unthinkable that someone wouldn't vote. I know, I've heard people saying, "It doesn't make a difference if I vote or not," but I figure if every grain of sand decided not to show up one day, there would be no beach.

Americans are proud to celebrate Memorial Day, honoring those who laid down their lives in battle to keep our amazing way of life intact, and Veterans' Day and the Fourth of July and all patriotic celebrations.  In fact, when arguments break out, we often hear people cry, "I have the right to say this!"  And you do, because our American freedoms exist, and the right to vote is one of the most dear.

Go back to, say, 1860...certain segments of the population could not vote. It wasn't until 1870 that the 15th Amendment to the Constitution gave African-American former slaves the right to vote, and even then, the vote was suppressed by local laws and intimidation until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  I mean, they forced people to take "voter literacy tests" to keep voting down. I daresay most Americans today of any background could not pass this test.

Women were not allowed to vote until ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.  There are people alive today who can remember a day when only men could decide the future of the nation.  That's stunning.

But, even these insane indignities aside, everyone should vote. How can someone complain about anything, from the role of America in the world today, to how the local rec & parks dep't. maintains the soccer fields, if they did not take part in the selection process to choose the women and men who decide how to attack ISIS or the rocky soccer field?

Tomorrow, we vote, and Wednesday (barring recounts, hanging chads and legal challenges) half of us will be happy and half will be mad.  Both of those feelings will pass, but the obligation to take part in the proceedings never fades.

Please don't fail to vote.

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