Why Should I Vote?

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - By Dr. Don Kuehle

In 1792, Elec­tion Day was set for the Tues­day fol­low­ing the first Mon­day in Novem­ber. Novem­ber was se­lected be­cause the har­vest was over and win­ter had not yet be­gun. Tues­day was cho­sen be­cause, if Mon­day had been cho­sen, some might have had to travel on Sun­day, the Sab­bath.

“He cast his vote, dis­trust­ing all the elected — but not the law.” So said Karl Shapiro.

“I don’t trust any of the can­di­dates. There­fore, I’m not go­ing to vote.” I hear a lot of peo­ple say­ing this, and it’s true. We all have good rea­son for not trust­ing the peo­ple who hold pub­lic of­fice, as well as those who want to hold pub­lic of­fice. The head­lines are filled with sto­ries of politi­cians who have lied and cheated, who have com­mit­ted im­moral acts, who have made se­cret deals and mis­used pub­lic funds for their own gain. At the same time, many politi­cians are hon­est, hard-work­ing peo­ple. They study the is­sues and work hard to make laws that will ben­e­fit ev­ery­one. Most have never acted im­morally, have never made se­cret deals or mis­used pub­lic funds.

I might not trust the politi­cians, but that does not ex­cuse me from vot­ing. I am a cit­i­zen of the United States; as a cit­i­zen, I too have a re­spon­si­bil­ity for study­ing the is­sues and for mak­ing tough de­ci­sions based on what I know. There­fore, I will

cast my vote on Elec­tion Day.

O. Henry said, “A straw vote only shows which way the hot air is blow­ing!”

We are be­sieged by po­lit­i­cal sur­veys and opin­ion polls. I don’t trust polls and sur­veys much more than I trust politi­cians and poll­sters. A sur­vey will in­form me on how some peo­ple feel at this mo­ment. A poll will in­di­cate how peo­ple would vote if the elec­tion were held to­day. This does not help me much. I’m still the one per­son who must study the is­sues. I’m the one per­son who asks the hard ques­tions of the can­di­dates. I’m still the one who has to make the tough de­ci­sions. I’m the one per­son who must step into the polling booth and cast my vote, which I will do.

“Ev­ery voter … ex­er­cises a pub­lic trust.” So said Grover Cleve­land.

I am a cit­i­zen of the United States. As long as I ac­cept the priv­i­leges of be­ing a cit­i­zen, I must also ac­cept the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of be­ing a cit­i­zen. Citizenship grants me the priv­i­lege of free­dom of speech, free­dom to as­sem­ble when and where I choose, free­dom to wor­ship the God of my choice, free­dom to get an ed­u­ca­tion, free­dom to hold a job, and free­dom to vote for the can­di­date of my choice with­out fear of reprisal.

Free­dom evap­o­rates un­less it is used by the cit­i­zen. Un­less I ex­er­cise my free­dom to speak up and speak out on the is­sues, I will lose my free­dom of speech. Un­less I learn to work to­gether with other con­cerned cit­i­zens, I will lose more of my rights. Un­less I ex­er­cise my free­dom to work and to wor­ship, I will lose both. Un­less I get out and vote, I will give away the rights and free­doms I have as a cit­i­zen.

Our na­tion will be­come what we, the peo­ple, vote it be­come. Politi­cians will be­come ac­count­able and re­spon­si­ble of­fi­cials if we, the peo­ple, vote our opin­ions and be­liefs. We, the peo­ple, have the op­por­tu­nity in the vot­ing booth to shape the fu­ture of our coun­try.

Why should I vote? I will vote be­cause I’m a cit­i­zen of this United States. I have the right to vote, and I will vote come Elec­tion Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.