Don’t Tread On Me

By The Columbia Chronicle

Voting has been a cornerstone of democracy for the past 222 years. This is the time when individuals can express their views and beliefs, a time when they are in control of the direction of our country. But for some this “right” has become an inconvenience.

Voters have gradually shown more apathy towards the voting process. Some people do not have the time to vote, while others are not even registered. These are just excuses for laziness. If you are too busy, get an absentee ballot. If you are not registered, register. Americans seem to think that their entire problem will go away without getting involved. Copping out instead of voting is very revealing of your “love” for this country.

To give up your right to vote is to give up your voice. There is no other industrialized nation that allows its citizens the same amount of freedom we have. We are able to write, say and think, and in the end we alone control our country’s future. How do we pay homage to this? By throwing away the one power that brings our ideals to the highest offices in America.

The ideal of democracy is fabulous. Plain and simple, it says that if you don’t like something about this country you can change it. From school funding to childcare, your voice counts. The only way you can fix something is if you roll up your sleeves and jump right into the problem. What can possibly be fixed when we Americans as a whole sit on our hands? If one does not exercise their right to vote they have no reason to complain. Even if the candidate or memorandum that you were in favor of does not win, at least you took the initiative to make things right. People need to realize that apathy and sloth are not elements that constitute liberty.

In years past, ignorant lawmakers forbade minorities and women to vote, but those times are long gone. On this given day every citizen ideals are on the same level. Anyone, including minorities who want to make their voices heard, must get out and vote. The higher the turnout the stronger it will be heard. Representatives are mirror images of the people who elect them. If you want better representation, let it be known by changing the status quo. The power of change lies in the punch of a ticket.

The are no racial or gender barriers when people talk about low turnout. Every group is included. People must realize that voting is the one way where they can make a difference. Don’t waste that chance next time around. Go out and get registered, and when that day comes stand up and make your vote count.

Make decisions for yourself — don’t let someone else make them for you.