Monday, November 6, 2006

November 6, 2006 You have to vote

Consider This for November 6, 2006—you have to vote.

It will all be over tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Not a second too soon. An election season that seemed it would never end. We could only hope that each morning we could turn on the TV and not have to listen to the false claims and exaggerations again.

But before we get to put it all behind us we have to vote. Not that we have to vote but we must vote. It is the only way we can move toward stopping the madness.

More than 200 men and women died in October to ensure you can vote tomorrow. As you sit on your couch or in your recliner clutching your remote control to shut off the campaign ads, remember the ultimate price that someone paid so you can get up off your rear end and go to the polls tomorrow.

It is not just important. It is imperative that you go.

I have said this before: you give up your right to complain if you don’t vote. After you vote they should issue you a complaining license good for two years until the next election. If you don’t vote you have to stay home and shut up and accept whatever the other voters have thrust upon you, like it or not.

Maybe you could be issued a complaining password so you could write letters to the editor or call your elected official to let him or her have a piece of your mind.

It is ironic how everyone always votes for the winners in each election. Notice how people will talk around the coffee shop on Wednesday about how they always supported the winner and have no idea why the loser ever entered the race.

If that were the case each victor would garner 100% of the votes. No one can ever find that elusive 30% to 40% of the voters who cast their votes for the loser.

America is a wonderful country to let this happen every two years.

All cynicism aside we all have to vote. We don’t have a choice. It is a right to vote and a privilege given to us by a lot of people who have preceded us in this life.

If nothing else, consider your children and your grandchildren and the example that you are giving them by letting them see you vote. When they give you the little “I voted” sticker to put on your shirt or coat, wear it with pride. Don’t ever take it off. Let it wear off from having it on too many days. Each time someone sees it you are encouraging them to follow your example.

I first held elected office in 1977 as a trustee for the Town of Blue River for two years. I served for almost eight years as county coroner. I put in almost ten years as a county commissioner. I am in my third year as a state representative. That is over twenty years as a state and local elected official. Each time I won an election I considered it a privilege to be chosen by my community to serve in elected office.

We all need to consider it a privilege to be able to vote for our elected officials.

A few days ago I saw “The Last King of Scotland” about the reign of Idi Amin in Uganda in the 1970s. To truly appreciate our system of government and our right to vote everyone should see this movie. It was brutal, violent and sometime gross but it showed what happens when you do not have a democracy and live under a dictatorship.

I really do not care how you vote. Vote for anyone you think is the best candidate and vote in favor of or against any of the ballot issues according to your beliefs and conscience. The important thing is that you vote.

Plain and simple. Get up, go out the door, go to the poll and vote. Do it as a personal favor for me. Do it as an example to your friends and family. Just do it to move this country in a better direction.

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