Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I Vote Because...
Are you voting today? I am. Because I believe in democracy. And a democracy can only exist when the people have a voice and use it.
A democracy depends on the education and involvement of it's citizens. The famous philosopher, Plato, basically held the position that uneducated people who did not learn about the government were more likely to fall victim to tyrants. If you don't know the rules or the issues, then someone can lie to you, forcing you (whether you know it or not) to do what they want you to do, instead of what is good for everyone.
Plato said that ignorant people will always obey tyrants.
And I would add that those who do not voice their opinion (even if they are wrong), risk being imprisoned by their own silence.
Everyone has the right to vote. It doesn't matter who you vote for (okay, yes it really does!), but I certainly wouldn't presume to tell anyone who they should vote in favor of. You're an intelligent person and everyone has the right to vote for whoever they feel has the country's best interest at heart.
I look at my personal Facebook page and see about half my friends fiercely in favor of one candidate/party, and the other half passionately supporting the other. Does voting one way or the other make them good or bad? No. It makes them human. It makes them people with free will and the right to make their own voices heard. I love them regardless of who they support because I know that what it boils down to is values and each person trying to elect the person they think will be best for the country. Some people only care about family values. Others are mainly concerned about the economy, while others are deeply concerned about health care.
I'll be honest and say that the top three issues that influence my opinion are:
#1 - The way I think people should be treated.
#2 - The education of our children.
#3 - And the importance of working together despite differences of opinion to find solutions that benefit the most people and our country as a whole.
Our country owes it to our citizens to provide them with caring, educated people in power who have a strong sense of social responsibility and justice.
It's up to us to put them in place. There are millions of people around this world who do not have the basic human right to vote for the person they think will do a better job leading their country. I would be sick to my stomach knowing that I treat my ability and opportunity to vote with indifference because I don't agree 100% with the candidates. Honestly? I can't think of a single person on the planet with whom I agree 100% on every issue. And I'm not so conceited as to think I know the right answer to everything.
Don't let yourself be led silently, or you may not find yourself in a very good place. You don't have to be rude or obnoxious or belligerent. You can be thoughtful and firm, always thinking of others.
Go out and vote.
And don't let anyone stop you.