Next Tuesday, whatever your political beliefs, if you believe in the United States of America you have an absolute responsibility to cast an informed vote—assuming you haven’t already done so.
Despite the base tendencies of the media to cover elections like they cover the Triple Crown, this is a very serious business which ends with your vote. Assuming you are eligible, your vote is about the only thing which cannot be taken from you. But, like the Triple Crown, you may want to read the form before you bet and not make a decision on the color of the jockey’s silks or how much you like the horse’s name.
You see, it’s not so much who wins or loses—although that is important.
It’s that this is the longest surviving experiment in self-government in the history of the world and despite all of the petty little games politicians of all stripes play, if you and I stop participating, it’s over in a few generations.
Al Qaeda will have won.
And I would be remiss in pointing out that Al Qaeda represents one of the longest surviving theocracies in the world’s history and their values are diametrically opposed to ours.
They would prefer that we not have elections. That women be covered from head to toe and not have any rights. That all major decisions be made by Imams.
They believe that martyrdom is a great concept. That an 18-year old girl is worth more to society dead from a bomb belt than alive looking forward to a career.
They believe we are all infidels, worthy of being killed.
And that’s why this election is important whoever wins.
The truth be known, the exercise we go through every four years tells the rest of the world that our little experiment is still going strong and that terror attacks may get our attention but will never bring us to our knees.
We have had election campaigns in war, in peace, in recession, in depression and in prosperity. They all end the same way. With either a peaceful transition of our government or a re-election.
Even the most hotly contested election in history, which was settled at the Supreme Court ended with a peaceful transition.
We have never had to have the military step in to settle an election, we have never had to have martial law declared.
Our government may be infuriatingly slow to make what many see as needed changes, but the fact is that it was set up that way, so no group could seize the reigns of power and take the country down a path it does not wish to go.
All of what I have written above is simply foreign to the religious zealots who would just as soon kill us as have lunch.
That is why it is with some sadness that I have to hear one candidate threaten the nation with “10,000 lawyers” already on the ground, ready to contest election results.
The more ridicules the campaigns get, the less respect the voters will have for the campaigners. This is America. You can say anything you want because we have a Bill of Rights.
But I would hope that the participants in a campaign would be as intelligent as the citizens who cast their ballots for them.
Because it all gets down to that.
Voters are always a lot smarter than the people they vote for, no matter how they vote.
And while voting may be a right, it is also an awesome responsibility.
So please exercise that responsibility. Show the rest of the world—including those creeps who believe in martyrdom and jihad—that we’re not a soft target by casting an informed ballot.
And, if you don’t vote, don’t complain because you will have forfeited that right.