By Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.
Should we throw away our right to vote? Your opinion counts only if you choose to express it, and the polls are a good place to start. I cannot recall when there has ever been such confusion around election time. There has always been the typical flurry of accusations by candidates and mud-slinging between parties, which is what we have all come to expect from the November fray. But this year, to me at least, something is very different.
For the purposes of this article, my goal is not to send you in one direction or the other. Most who read my column regularly know my position in business and my conservative nature. But this year, I feel we need to go beyond the thought of who’s running and look at the big picture for our nation. National surveys (for whatever they are worth) seem to show most Americans feel we are not going in the right direction. But with that being said, let’s just take this time to look inward and focus on our one vote, which only we can use wisely or not at all. Our final decision in the booth is private and personal, and can be confidential if we choose.
To get to the point, I’d like to see more people take the time to educate themselves, make a solid choice for good reasons, and then get out for the election. It is in our mutual best interest to see as many of the electorate as possible out in November. Year after year, we leave important decisions about who will run our local, state, and federal governments to a handful of people. In November 2015, the New York Times published an article titled “The Worst Voter Turnout in 72 Years.” We owe it to ourselves to execute our right to vote – a privilege that past generations have fought so hard to protect.
Some have said, “Why vote when the outcome doesn’t seem to affect me?” and “What does one vote matter?” I could not disagree more. The right to vote is one that most people around the world still do not have the true freedom to enjoy. Even if casting your ballot doesn’t change an outcome, the process may have a profound impact on you and perhaps even those around you.
Let’s start by paying attention and seriously looking into the field of candidates. Evaluate the parties and the individuals on the ballot and see who would move in the direction you could agree with. I challenge you: this year, invest some time and make a practical and informed decision. My hope is that each of us will vote the right way. Vote with passion, conviction, and a clear understanding of what you and your fellow Americans need most – a “government of the people, by the people, for the people…”
“Always vote for principle; though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” ~ John Quincy Adams