Tomorrow we lucky citizens of this great country get the
opportunity to cast our ballots and vote.
Tomorrow we lucky citizens of this great country get the opportunity to cast our ballots and vote. Now, I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes at this task. Many feel it’s a real pain and probably a waste of time. Taxation without representation seems to be the norm. Plus, who can understand all the lawyer-speak behind so many of the issues we’re supposed to vote on? We’re taught there are always two sides to every story, yet when dealing with issues on ballots, there seem to be several pros and cons.

The candidates themselves rarely induce any feelings of good will. Most seem to have hidden agendas, no matter what level of government they are with. From school boards to the governor’s office, it seems as if individual pet projects are prioritized, leaving the rest of us without a voice. Then there are the campaigns which, unfortunately, all too often focus on the other candidate’s personality flaws, not on the issues themselves. This kind of campaigning turns off many voters, myself included.

There’s no doubt about it, our system has a lot of glitches. The men and women who fought so hard to make sure our country was built on a government of fairness that would benefit the majority are probably rolling in their graves. They envisioned a country where individual voices counted. It’s easy to feel that’s no longer the case.

But what if we all woke up tomorrow morning without the choice of voting? What if, like in a movie, we started our day only to learn that our country had been overtaken by a dictator? No longer would we have the right to voice where we would like our hard-earned money to go. Whether it gets there or not is another matter altogether, but we still live in a country where freedom of speech is allowed. Lets face it, the squeaky wheel often gets the grease.

That’s not always a bad thing. Think of all the times the squeaky wheel has had an agenda benefiting the majority. Mothers Against Drunk Driving was started by a squeaky wheel. Instead of continuing to allow society a nod-and-wink attitude about driving under the influence, this determined, grieving mother poured her energy into changing the laws regarding drunk driving. Countless lives have been saved.

Cesar Chavez was another squeaky wheel. Farm workers weren’t even thought of as human beings deserving such things as livable wages, affordable housing, medical benefits or even safe working environments. Many shoppers weren’t even aware of the farm workers’ plight before Chavez and his followers loudly voiced their needs.

Squeaky wheels are not always right or always good for the whole of society. Yet as long as we continue to have the right to vote, we retain the ability to alter the course of our towns, states and country. This won’t happen if we don’t use our vote.

So tomorrow when you wake up, think of how you would feel if you lost your right to vote. What if you had no voice in anything to do with our government? What if you truly had taxation without representation? What if you no longer could shop, work or worship where and when you wanted?

It sounds extreme, but too much of the world lives in just this manner. Many poor have no hope of ever being anything but poor. They will never know the wonderful opportunities provided by free enterprise, the right to choose their own paths in life. Many people around the globe are governed by extremists who will kill their own citizens on a moment’s notice if things aren’t going their way. Then there are the religious zealots running countries who hide terrorism and control of the masses behind a distorted mask of their interpretation of God.

Our country is far from perfect. All too often we’ve allowed candidates to ignore the voice of the majority, submitting to rich corporations or money-fueled, squeaky-voiced agendas. Just because there are problems with the system doesn’t give us the right to give up.

Tomorrow, take the few minutes needed to make a stand for what is right in our country. Let your individual voice join millions of others for the good of all. Get out and enjoy one of the biggest freedoms we have, the right to choose the direction our government. Get out and vote.

-Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you do not know where your polling site is located, call the San Benito County Elections Department at 636-4016.

Previous article101 widening ahead of schedule
Next articleTime to rebalance your 401(k) holdings
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here