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Exercise your right to vote

I purposely try to stay out of political discussions in this column. However, I do want to encourage my readers to vote. I always feel that I may not have anything or anyone I want to vote for, but there is always something or someone I want to vote against.

David Foster Wallace said, “In reality, there is no such thing as not voting; you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.”

I find it disturbing that only about 38 percent of registered voters vote in mid-term elections and less than 60 percent vote in presidential elections. With freedoms, come responsibilities.

If we want to continue to enjoy the freedoms that our country offers, then we must elect officials that will work toward that end. Apathy will eventually cost us everything that we as citizens of the United States hold dear.

Isn’t it amazing how many people will pick up the phone to vote for their favorite contestant to win “Dancing with the Stars” but won’t take the time to vote for someone who could change laws that could effectively change how they live, how their children are educated, or how much they pay in taxes.

My question to those people would be: So in 10 years, is who won that contest going to matter to you personally? Probably not. However, who is elected stands a much greater chance of making a difference in 10 years.

It is very sad that in some countries the general populace risks their lives to make their choice known, while here 40 percent of the general populace won’t even risk missing their favorite TV show to make their choice known.

Yes, I realize that the popular vote doesn’t actually elect the president and yes, I know that many elected officials will tell us one thing and then do something totally different once in office.

Want to know the wonderful thing about that? We are not stuck with them forever! Amazingly, they can be voted out of office too!

I guess in part it comes down to this: If you don’t vote, you really don’t have the right to complain.

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