Teddy Roosevelt said, “The government is us; we are the government, you and I.”
FDR said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
In the last four presidential elections I’ve heard voices raised in opposition, expressing not only dissatisfaction with the outcomes, but also anger and venom and downright nastiness. Some have laid blame on the Electoral College.
After our forefathers drafted the Constitution, they decided the average citizen wasn’t smart enough to elect a president. They also felt that a purely popular election would give too much voting power to highly populated areas where, without the electronic closeness we have today, those people were more familiar with the candidates. Ergo, the Electoral College was created for presidential elections.
Well, if you don’t like it, change it. Bombard your representatives with enough reasons to invoke a Constitutional Convention, repeal the Electoral College, and establish the one person-one vote at presidential election times. If your representative doesn’t listen to you, vote to remove him or her from office at the next election. If you are happy with the status quo, vote him or her back in.
What I cannot accept are the people who say, “He’s not my president.” Whether you agree with whatever administration is in office, the president of the United States is your president. He has been duly elected by legal process and represents you to the world. For years, the person elected is the face of the United States of America. If you don’t like what he does, you have the ability to throw him out in the next presidential election; if you agree with him, you can re-elect him. The choice is yours, but only if you vote.
Exercising one’s franchise is not only a privilege, it is a duty! I do not believe we should force people to vote as they do in Australia by fining them if they don’t, but I sometimes wonder how many of the people protesting at any time in the last 20 years actually did vote.
All people over the age of 18 in our free country have the right to raise their voices and be heard by going to the polls on Election Day and casting their votes. We can then revoke the standing government or back them. We are in essence, each time we vote, taking part in a bloodless revolution.
We hold great power in our hands as we choose those to represent us. I urge you, this year and in all years to come, to let your voice be heard. Take advantage of our truly American privilege and, after familiarizing yourself with all the candidates, walk into your polling place, cast your vote, and become a real voice in our free and wonderful country.
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