Today we have the opportunity to utilize one of the greatest - if not the greatest - privileges of living in a democracy. We have the ability to vote for our leaders. Around the world there are still many countries that don't offer any opportunity to vote. In some places, the opportunity to vote is offered but the process is a sham. But, here in the United States of America, ours is a true opportunity to select the leaders of our choice.
However, in each voting cycle there are those who claim that their vote doesn't count. Just tell that to Barack Obama or Al Gore. The power of the vote is so strong that Marion Barry, one time Mayor of Washington, DC, was arrested for smoking crack (1990), forced to leave office and served time in prison. In 1994, Barry once again ran for Mayor - and won!
Each election day brings with it those who will dissuade you from casting your ballot. DON'T LET THEM. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Take your responsibility as a citizen seriously. Lead by example. If you vote, others may follow you to the polls.
Just as great a responsibility as voting is being informed when you cast your ballot. The internet offers an opportunity to study the candidates and the issues. While you undertake the process of deciding on candidates and referendums, weigh the benefit of casting your ballot for the common good. Many candidates will tempt you with what is good for you. However, in order to keep our country strong, we should consider what is best for the entire nation. The better off we make it for the least of us, the better off we will all be.
Don't be swayed by Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin on the right. Or by Barack Obama or Keith Olbermann on the left. Make you own decision. If I can give you one peace of guidance it would be this:
Remember, in the end, we are all judged by what we did in our time here. How you vote may determine what we are as a nation and how we treat our citizens. Vote with the conscience that your maker provided you with.