By Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph
Yes, I’ve heard it all before. Some sit out elections because they refuse to vote ‘for the lesser of two evils.’ Some don’t vote for philosophical reasons although I am not sure what those reasons are. Others simply do not feel informed enough to cast a vote for anyone, even someone in their own local district. Still more are privately vowing NOT TO VOTE, feeling that this will somehow put pressure on the ruling party to do their bidding. The fact is, it doesn’t. It won’t. They could care less how you feel, and they would be just as happy if you did not vote.
That said, we happen to live in a Republic, and that Republic depends on us to participate and help protect the individual liberties that are afforded us by our Constitution.
So deciding not to vote is really a vote in favor of those who would rule us as they (not you) see fit.
Calvin Coolidge said it best:
The right to vote is confered upon our citizens not only that they may exercise it for their own benefit, but in order that they may exercise it also for the benefit of others. People who have the right to vote are trustees for the benefit of their country and their countrymen. They have no right to say that do not care. must care! They have no right to say that whatever the result of the election they can get along. They must remember that their country and their countrymen cannot get along, cannot remain sound, cannot preserve its institutions, cannot protect its citizens, cannot maintain its place in the world, unless those who have the right to vote do sustain and do guide the course of the public affairs by the thoughtful exercise of that right on election day. They do not hold a mere privilege to be exercised or not, as passing fancy may move them. They are charged with a great trust, one of the most important and most solemn which can be given into the keeping of an American Citizen. It should be discharged thoughtfully and seriously, in accordance with its vast importance.
He suggests that we approach the ballot box in the spirit that we would approach a sacrament, wholly dedicated to the welfare of our country.
That’s wonderful advice that we all should heed.
The American Revolution was the struggle of a free people trying to hold onto their freedom. They were defending themselves against the military despotism of King George the III, and they were intent on establishing the rule of law as the founding principle of our government.
Our forebearers fought that battle so that we may have the individual liberties that we have today. Those liberties, therefore, should never be taken lightly.
Our Constitution is under increasing attack by those who would interpret it solely to further their own cause. Back in the days of our Founding Fathers it was the Federalists versus the Republicans. Today it is still about the Federalists versus the Jeffersonian Republicans, despite the passage of years.
The continuing struggle is between those who want to rigorously follow the Constitution as it was written, and those (the Federalists) who would interpret the Constitution for their own best interests. The Federalists believe that the country should be ruled by the wealthy because they do not trust the common people who, they fear, are simply too ignorant. And they favor a powerful central government featuring a strong executive and social entitlements.
The Jeffersonian Republicans, on the other hand, favor a weaker central government with extremely limited responsibility, reserving everything else for the sovereign states to control. They feel that giving the states more power preserves a better relationship between the people and their government; and they feel it better protects our individual liberties from those whose desire is to erode them. The Jeffersonian Republicans seek to protect our individual liberties at all cost.
So, please, cast your vote in the upcoming election. Make your choice about the kind of government you prefer to live under. Study the issues, and find out who is running for office that best reflects your own personal views, and vote for them.
Stand tall and make your voice heard!