The Most Powerful Instrument – Your Vote

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice," Lyndon B. Johnson.

If you think voting is a waste of time – then think again.

It is the people, who by exercising their right to vote, elect local, state and federal officials, including the President and thus push forward policies that loom large on the town, your job, your taxes, your health care, your children’s education and hence the future of this nation itself. Elections are the cornerstones of our democracy and, in fact, voting is the process to form a healthier democracy that then is able to facilitate the most vital want of our life – happiness.

Think again - about people in far off countries who are unable to give their voting opinion because they live under a dictatorship or are crushed by a war or are fearful of terrorism or are steeped in backwardness. This voting right bestowed in you is a special privilege and to render a careful judgment is your responsibility. So think again and vote in honor of those who can’t and by doing so put the
right person in charge who represents your needs and concerns.

Leaving aside the third world nations, where votes are bought with tons of money or are denied wholesale, the United States can boast of conducting the most free and fair elections in the developed world. Still, only about 50 percent of eligible voters participate in the presidential election; the figures are much lower for local and state elections. This low participation may have to do with voting rights history.

Black American males gained voting rights five years after the end of the Civil War; the 15th Amendment established those rights in 1870. Rights for voting by women came much later in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was enacted. As a result of these two amendments,  Election Day is the one day each year when those who vote - whites, blacks, young, old, women, and all minorities - are treated equal, except for felons who are still denied voting right in some states.

Lately that bright city we call America has been losing its brightness and luster as it desperately tries to slip out of the deadly recessionary hold it finds itself in. Your vote will decide whether or not America will break that stranglehold and be restored, once again, as the shiniest city on the hill.

The two men fighting to occupy the Oval Office are starkly different and the nation will steer much differently depending on who takes over the country’s reins for the next four years. Remember Al Gore and Florida in 2000 presidential election. Had Gore been the President instead of George W. Bush – we would, with good certainty, not have invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein and thus avoided putting America in the financial mess we are in. This is the one most important reason why we must choose the right person in the next election.

All the debate battles are over, but the mother of all battles - the battle of the ballots, on November 6 - is just ahead and your one vote will matter since Al Gore lost in Florida by fewer than 600 votes. Even fewer overall votes have decided many local and state elections.

Your one vote counts more this time around than at any other time and letting it go to waste could prove to be very costly for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Statistics show younger voters are more likely to shun voting, but then they are the ones who have the most to gain and lose simply because they have to live with the outcome of any election longer than anyone else.

My conscious tells me to select the candidate with whom we stand a better chance to fix the issues pertaining to jobs and economy, fiscal cliff, budget imbalance, higher taxes, unaffordable Obama-care, over-regulation, trade restrictions and oil dependency.

For us, Mitt Romney is that candidate who we believe is capable of solving all these problems and more by virtue of his successful business experience and state governance. And thus, discarding our indecision – we will vote for Romney, who looked much more presidential in the third debate than President Barack Obama, both in demeanor and his vision for America’s future.

You must vote too for the good of the country since a more diverse opinion is rendered when a higher percentage of people participate. Now if you don’t vote – you will have no right to complain. Instead, you must bear the consequences of giving up your franchise and being irresponsible. It is not simply a matter of responsibility; suffrage is the source of real power behind politicians who falsely think they wield the rod by making the rules and laws (e.g. taxes). But they don’t, your vote does.

President Lyndon B. Johnson once said: “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

So vote and feel the rush of power you have but are unaware of it.

Independents Dave and Nita Anand are decided and will vote for Romney.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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