Like everyone else over these past few months, I have been bombarded with radio and television campaign ads, editorials in print and online publications, an avalanche of political satire and quite often mean-spirited debate on social media sites – not to mention dreaded “robo-calls”. These political messages support candidates for various elected offices of leadership, usually by attacking his or her opponent.
Despite the mud-slinging and accusations running rampant this election season, I have been able to find the information I need to make my decision for which candidates I will cast my vote on November 6th. I have listened carefully to interviews and read a great deal about voting records and platforms.
As offensive and often unpleasant as some of these campaigns can be, I thank God and our founding fathers for freedom of speech and so many constitutional rights that are mine because I am a citizen of this great country. I believe in the democratic process and believe that voting is an opportunity for me to participate in that process and to exercise my constitutional right to freedom of speech.
I have heard some people say they aren’t going to vote because their vote doesn’t really matter anyway. It does! Every vote matters. History proves that to be true. In 1867, had just one U.S. Senator voted differently, Andrew Jackson would have been removed from the office of President of the United States in 1867.
What would the world look like today if John F. Kennedy had not been elected President in 1960? According to the Knox County (Illinois) Clerk website, if one voter from each polling place had cast their ballot for Richard Nixon, JFK would not have been the 35th President of this great country.
In 1845, it was a single vote by a U.S. Senator that opened the door for Texas to become one of these United States of America.
You would think that any person asking for your vote would try to gain favor by showing off their best attributes. The last thing we would expect to see or hear from a true leader is a bitter diatribe targeting his or her opponent. We often feel that those who want our vote aren’t listening to us, usually because they are too busy slinging mud at their opponent to hear us.
And yet, if we do not exercise our constitutional right, our voices will not be heard by those who make the laws and govern the land. If we don’t show up to vote, we’re basically saying that we just don’t care. Our inaction tells the leaders and would-be leaders that the keys to the kingdom are theirs, not the peoples, and that we’ll just sit back and take what we get.
It is a privilege for me to cast my ballot. I can’t wait for November 6!