To Whom It May Concern:
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for men of good conscience to remain silent.” These brilliant words from President Thomas Jefferson hold just as true today as they did many years ago. Mr. Jefferson was not hinting at our first amendment right to the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and protest, but rather something much deeper and far more intimate: our privilege to vote, and not only that, but our privilege to an EDUCATED vote.
In recent years, due to a lack of “Give a Damn”, the American populace has based their voting decisions on what letter follows a candidate’s name. In many states voter turnout is significantly lower for Primary Elections and non-partisan municipal elections. This is an alarming fact that shouldn’t be!
Our country provides us with a privilege that many others throughout this world do not receive: WE CAN VOTE! In many other nations, the constituency does not get to speak their minds, share their ideas, or have a say in how their government does business, but here in the land of milk and honey we do. You see, voting is not a right, for rights are handed down from our creator—NOT from government! Right’s cannot be taken away, but privileges can be, as necessary as some are to providing for the general well-being of our society, as defined in the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States, along with the Bill of Rights.
My privilege to vote is something of personal intimacy, that is truly only between me and my God; something that I may express from time-to-time, but that vote is still mine. I am truly blessed to live in a nation that allows me that freedom—that allows you that freedom, as well.
As sacred as my vote is to me, I take great pride and responsibility in casting my vote. I research each candidate and issue thoroughly, boldly questioning our elected officials, seeking answers, and finally making my decision after carefully weighing all options. Much like an Eagle Scout, I am highly prepared when I enter the polling booth on Election Day.
I gained this rare virtue the summer before my senior year of high school. Before I could register to vote in the 2006 November Election, my father sat me down and told me that before I could register he wanted me to prove that I knew who and what I was voting for—I provided him with no less than three good qualities and three not-so-good qualities about each candidate and issue. This seems to me to be as much common sense as looking both ways before crossing the street, yet some still choose to just run across a busy highway and wonder why they got ramrodded by a semi!
I will not tell you who I am voting for on November 6, nor will I tell you who you should and should not vote for, but I will challenge you with the same challenge my father gave me in July 2006: Research each candidate and ballot issue thoroughly, weigh all options, consequences—both good and bad, and try to find at least three positive qualities about each candidate and three negative qualities about each candidate; listen to the policies proposed, and find where you are on the political spectrum; it is your duty and responsibility to yourself, your fellow countrymen, and to future generations to make an educated vote; what happens today, politically, will affect the younger and future generations more than it will those who are older.
Remember, it is the wise man who constantly seeks the answers in life, searching for truth and tranquility; it is the fool who thinks he has the answers.
Who is John Galt?
JCCC College Republicans
Student Senator (2007-08)
JCCC Student Senate