Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Voting is more important than checking box

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 5, 2012 at 5:05 a.m.
Updated Nov. 6, 2012 at 5:06 a.m.

Election Day is upon us, and Americans face an important choice.

Our country is in a delicate position. We are slowly recovering from the Great Recession, our troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan and, from the way political analysts talk, it wouldn't take much of a mistake to undo all the progress we've seen so far.

That is why it is so important for every registered voter to hit the polls. This election has gotten ugly on several occasions and levels. In today's political climate, even some area candidates fling mud like they're going for the big leagues. This can make voting a difficult, even distasteful, decision. But it is a decision that must be made.

With so much of our future at stake, the decision is not so much Obama or Romney as it is to vote or not to vote. America's poll numbers have been lackluster at best for decades. The highest voting rates are seen in years with presidential elections. In both 2004 and 2008, only about 60 percent of people eligible to vote cast their ballots, according to the United States Election Project at George Mason University. That means more than a third of Americans who could have a say in their country's future are standing aside and letting others make the tough decisions for them.

Our right to vote is one of the most valuable, most coveted privileges of Americans. People living in countries around the world face threats, violence and death to make it to the polls - if there even are polls. In countries like China or North Korea, residents have no choice in who their leaders are or what their government does. We have that influence and freedom here. The problem is, many people don't value it. And that is a tragedy.

If we don't value and use our right to vote, we are wasting our chance to make a difference in not just our lives, but the lives of our children and those who will come after them. If we do not vote, we allow others to choose the course of our lives.

America is not a country of mindless sheep. We were born from bloody struggle, and our founding fathers risked everything to give their children and neighbors a future of freedom. But with freedom comes responsibility.

We ask all of our readers, every voter in Victoria and the Crossroads, to get out and vote. You may feel useless, like one voice lost among millions. But it is your voice, and it needs to be heard.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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