Our vote is both a priv­i­lege and a re­spon­si­bil­ity that mat­ters

The Enterprise - - Community Forum -

This elec­tion speaks pro­foundly to what kind of peo­ple we are and what kind of county, state and coun­try we want to live in. Each of our votes is an im­por­tant part of that state­ment.

May I sug­gest that if liv­ing in a democ­racy is part of our val­ues sys­tem, it is also im­por­tant that be­fore we vote we think about the build­ing blocks of a democ­racy.

For me, some of those build­ing blocks are fair­ness, free­dom of speech (in­clud­ing free­dom of the press), a gov­ern­ment that en­sures each of us a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, ac­cess to med­i­cal care and jus­tice. I think a democ­racy en­ables each of us to dream our own dreams and is led by elected of­fi­cials who lis­ten with hu­mil­ity, value our dif­fer­ences, and act with in­tel­li­gence, com­pas­sion, hon­esty and hope for our fu­ture.

Con­versely, his­tory has shown us that re­pres­sive au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism is built on mis­trust and fear, anger and de­mo­niza­tion of oth­ers. In an au­thor­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment, lies be­come com­mon­place and trust ex­tends only to those who look, think and be­lieve like those in power. In short, when “oth­er­ness” is de­hu­man­ized, peo­ple no longer have the priv­i­lege and joys of liv­ing in a democ­racy.

I want to urge each of us to think about these no­tions — how our vote re­flects our val­ues, how our vote be­comes a state­ment of the world we gen­uinely be­lieve can pro­vide for the well-be­ing of our fam­i­lies, our neigh­bors and our shared fu­ture.

It is not an ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that the whole world is watch­ing. Our vote is a priv­i­lege and a re­spon­si­bil­ity that mat­ters. May we all ex­er­cise that right with thought­ful in­tel­li­gence.

Michael S. Glaser,

St. Mary’s City

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