Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"To Vote or Not To Vote" — Some Reasons & Excuses!

Given that we have “not yet” turned our fate over to the hands of a dictatorship, our Constitutional Republic provides us with the opportunity (and obligation) to vote for or against those campaigning for positions of political power and influence in our government, at all levels. The "our" duty to elect and hold accountable competent and responsible government officials ("servants of the people").

To ensure the continuity of essential government functions, governing our nation includes a mix of recurring elections, timed, at federal, state, and local levels. Involving the U.S. President and Vice President; positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate; state and territorial governors; state legislators; and various other state and local positions.

During these many elections, billions of dollars are spent in an effort to retain or gain positions of power, influence, privilege, and responsibility. While millions of lawfully eligible voters (and countless unlawful persons) review, finalize, and carry out their voting plans—and others wrestle with whether “to vote or not to vote.”

As an aid to present and future persons looking for some justification for “not voting”—for not letting their political voice be heard—here are a few time-worn excuses to consider: Forgot to register/vote, bad weather, sick, disabled, inconvenient voting place, ID required, proof of U.S. citizenship required, conflicting schedule, had to work, on travel/vacation, disgusted with politics, no good candidates, all political parties are the same, politics is all about money, corrupt politicians, and all that politicians care about is “getting elected.” If none of these do the trick, maybe this old standby will help—“our votes don’t really count anyway!”

And, for those who choose to do their best to be informed and active voters, please give yourself a big justified pat-on-the-back! Our country needs many more to take your lead and do the same! Be very proud and grateful that you are not among the growing numbers who, election after election, waste their precious voting privilege—that which so many others have sacrificed so much to provide us.

For those who find themselves still undecided, and seeking some justification for the time and effort involved in trying to be informed and active voters, the following very short and incomplete summary of some serious, real-world reasons may hopefully be of help:

Our liberty, freedom, health, and general well being; personal and national security; jobs; hard-earned money and property; use of tax dollars; children’s and grandchildren’s education; U.S. culture; U.S. common-language English; U.S. borders; right of self-defense, religious freedom, and responsibility as citizen-custodians of our country’s affairs.

If none of the above seem to work, how about “our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ future!” That is, the well being of future generations of Americans, already saddled with an outrageous and rapidly growing $20 Trillion National Debt and $107 Trillion of Unfunded Liabilities. The result of many years of greed, corruption, and otherwise irresponsible government, and left unchecked by “we the people.” Left unattended by too many eligible voters that have been politically uninformed, unengaged, and otherwise inattentive to our nation’s affairs! For much too long.

Regardless of our country’s imperfections, our first and one of its kind Constitutional Republic remains the envy of the world. Our “informed” and “responsible” votes are of critical importance to our nation, to our families, to us as individuals, and to our descendants.

Our votes are “also” very important to those who continue to spend billions to influence our support. Including, for example, “special interests” contributing to the overall $7 billion spent on the 2012 elections (a number exceeding the Earth’s total population at that time). And to the estimated $3 billion or so spent on the not so long ago 2014 election cycle! And, reportedly to the some $6.5 billion combined spending on our more recent 2016 presidential and congressional elections!

We can do our best to be informed and active voters, or waste our privilege. We have the opportunity to be a part of our country’s solutions, or its problems. And we have the option of focusing on the “reasons” for voting, or the “excuses” not to. The freedom of choice is ours—that is, at least so far it is!

                                                               —William James Moore

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“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.”  —William E. Simon (1927-2000), 63rd U.S. Secretary of The Treasury.

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” —Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), a U.S. Founding Father; 3rd U.S. President.

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