Voting is very important for all of us

Published 8:25 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The United States of America will again embark upon one of our greatest traditions, in 2012.

This year, we celebrate our greatest form of democracy, participating in the electoral process. The right to vote is constitutionally written in the 15th Amendment and states, “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

The 15th Amendment was ratified by Congress on Feb. 3, 1870. Voting is the greatest expression of patriotism, short of faithfully defending our nation by serving in the armed forces. However, as we embark upon this November, it greatly concerns me about the number of Americans that will not vote.

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It concerns me because every day I read various newspapers and journals and find that so many of our elected officials take us — that’s right, their very own constituents — for granted.

Their arrogance and insult to our intelligence did not take place overnight. Gradually, we have given our elected officials more and more power over us. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation that empowered us, as the electorate to be served by those that govern us. Although we can cast blame on countless inept decisions made by various politicians, we as the electorate can blame no one but ourselves.

There is much power in a ballot, and if you question that, you should read the U.S. Constitution. If that is not sufficient to excite your inner patriot, read your history on elections and you will find that various factions of the electorate have completely redirected the direction of elections. Those factions were not your wealthy 1 percent of the population, but regular Americans like you and me, that were looking for something better. They wanted elected officials to be accountable to the people, and they elected those who they felt closely aligned to their beliefs. It was not difficult, but quite simple. They conveyed their belief in the form of a ballot.

This year, everyone knows that we will vote for the highest office in the country, the president of the United States. The purpose of my letter is not to tell you who to vote for, but instead just to vote.

On many occasion, I hear several people complain about the performance of various elected officials, and I ask “Did you vote?” On too many occasions the answer is no, followed by an explanation. While listening to their explanation, I tell myself a line from something I learned, “Excuses are the tools of the incompetent.”

My fellow Americans, that is exactly what some of our elected officials count on — incompetent and uninformed Americans.

Brandon Chase Brim