Voting is My Duty

160804_VoteBallot

[ A call to vote ]

August 4 – I voted early on Tuesday morning, before breakfast even, taking part in a process that each of us here in the USA can be proud to have!

Unfortunately, these days, only a small percentage of eligible voters choose to use this privilege. Lots of talk as to which candidates are the best, the most knowledgeable, and the ones who will keep our government strong. Would you believe, that after voting for more than 70 years, I even toyed with the thought of skipping out this year, and not voting at all? So many ads on TV, so many signs along the roadways, so much talk among friends, but all of this may prove that money actually does talk.

My oldest brother told me many times, “Sis, the best one to hold high office is probably right now working for small wages in a restaurant, or working many, many hours in a manufacturing plant just to have enough money to keep his head above water and to provide a home and food for his family.” I knew exactly what he was talking about because my dad had a job like that. He worked overtime and on weekends just so he could provide more food that we could raise in the garden.

His boss told him he really didn’t need a raise. “Just put a picture of your family on the table in front of you, and when you go back from the polishing machine to put the things you’ve polished to a real shine, just look at that picture. It will remind you of what you are doing for them!”’ As a young child, I had no idea what the boss was talking about, but I did understand what my brother was saying. When I was old enough, my older brothers and my folks, who voted in every election, told me that when I grew up, I could vote too, vote for someone who would make a better life for us.

160804_FDR

[ FDR’s Fireside chats ]

Back in 1933, when I was not yet six years old, my dad wanted all of us to learn about the plans FDR spoke about in his inaugural address. All of us kids had to sit on the linoleum floor in the living room where his words came out loud and clear over the tall Philco Radio. At that time I didn’t much care for the fact that I had no other option! Along with the rest of the family, I sat quietly through the entire speech.

Since this time was that of the Great Depression when just about everyone was in some kind of trouble with little to eat or wear, FDR’s famous, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” was an unforgettable line. Again I was much more interested in getting outside to play than I was in listening to a speech I didn’t really understand. However, by the time I was a senior in high school, I was so interested in American history that I could debate with just about anyone on the subject. I had a great time keeping up all the elections from city to county to nation. In college I majored in history, and learned to love our wonderful country even more.

160804_VoteSticker

[ Yes, I voted ]

After thinking about all of this today, I made up my mind that I will not skip out on the presidential election in the fall, but will vote my conscience and pray that all will go well. No other nation has had the opportunity of caring for so many who can’t care for themselves, of helping those who have no real home, or just being there for someone who needs help along the way. I will try, as the old saying goes, to be a friend to the friendless, and a champion for those who are not able to make it on their own.

Know what? I’m really glad that I voted this week as I knew I should. No matter what the results, no matter who is elected, I want to do my part in making my dear United States of America a pattern for the rest of the world. – CHRIS

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