Today is election day in America. Although I have not yet voted before the day is out I will have. I can count on one hand the number of times in thirty years that I have not voted. And I always regret when I do not.
My vote… your vote… matters. If there is an American creed, this assertion must be at the top of the list. Voting is how we do America.
If you do not vote, then you have silenced yourself. No one else. Facebook is not a ballot box. Anything but. The truth is I don’t care what you think about the issues and candidates of the moment if you don’t express that thought through voting.
You may feel like your vote doesn’t matter. But it does. Your single vote may not sway the election. But the number of close elections that have been decided by a relatively few people’s choices argues against the impotence of your vote. And like many small acts that are right and good and may not seem to matter, this one does, too.
You may not like the candidates. Then put your name on a ballot somewhere – school board, village council, condo association, PTO, church board. Some group some where needs your leadership if you don’t like what is happening.
If you do not vote then the argument is won. Even if your vote cancels mine on some issue or candidate the bigger victory is that we exercised our right to vote.
And we live in a world where some still do not have that right. Some whose circumstances make casting that ballot difficult or, in other lands, dangerous.
And we live in a nation where men and women have died for the right you may not be exercising. Veterans who risked life and fallen soldiers and sailors whose lives were sacrificed. Women who risked censure and their safety to demand they receive the same right the men had. People of all colors and backgrounds but largely African-Americans who became martyrs because they took seriously the ringing words that “all men [people] are created equal.” Including that they should be able to vote.
If you can’t vote because you didn’t register, then watch and listen carefully to today’s lesson in American civics. And if you don’t go today to complete a ballot, then go here and complete the application so you can when this next American holy day arrives again: