A DEADLINE YOU MUST NOT MISS

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by Jeanne Nelson
 
“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” ~ Susan B. Anthony

“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world.” ~ Sharon Salzberg

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr
 
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Time is running out for many Americans to register to vote in the upcoming — and crucial — Midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8. In some states, it might be too late to register; for others, there might still be time. If you have not yet registered to vote, or are not sure if you are registered, go to the usa gov website.

As an American citizen, your vote is your superpower!

And based on the quotes above, there are some key points we Americans need to understand about our ability to vote.

Our Vote Is Our Right, Responsibility and Reward

  • Millions have fought for Americans’ right to vote and govern their own country — including winning the vote for African Americans, women and others — through wars, protests and Amendments to the Constitution. Thousands have died doing so. By exercising our right to vote for ourselves and our country, we also honor those sacrifices.
  • Our vote is not just for elections; it is to signify to other Americans and the world that we are committed to our democracy for the long run, and are exercising our rights and responsibilities to vote in order to maintain that democracy.  
  • One way to avoid war and violence is to vote for candidates who will produce laws and policies that will exhaust peaceful and diplomatic ways to settle differences before resorting to foreign wars, and to pass and enforce laws that reduce violence within our country. If all Americans participate in every election — national, state and local — that can result in the ballot stopping bullets.
  • When someone withholds their vote — for any reason — they are remaining silent on critical decision-making. That is an abdication of the voter’s responsibility to self-govern and problem solve, essentially giving away their power, their rights, and likely their way of life as they know it.
  • My take on the Roosevelt quote is that voters must thoroughly educate themselves on the issues and candidates, not that they must have a formal education. Reading, watching news and commentary shows, talking with trusted individuals, studying history and performing other diligence will provide information and insight that equip voters to make wise choices.   

The Issues

As we head into the Midterms, Americans have voiced their top issues. These issues have shuffled and reshuffled in their order throughout the spring and summer and into autumn. I have done my own reshuffling, based on my own priorities. But whatever the order, every one of these issues affect all aspects of our present and future lives, and I’d like to share with you my views on each:

The Least We Can Do Is Register and Vote!

These are my views on the critical issues that face us at this historic moment. 

You may agree with me, and that’s great. Now go register and vote! On the other hand, you may not agree with me on everything, or anything. Now go register and vote!

But remember, no political party, individual candidate, or public official is perfect. Nor will anyone agree 100% with every position on every issue taken by a party or individual. But most positions of a particular candidate might be better aligned with a particular voter’s values than those of other candidates. The important thing is that we are all Americans and our vote is our superpower. Whether or not we agree, we should be thoughtful and aware, and use our right to vote wisely rather than squander it, or fail to use it at all.

After all, if NASA can manage to smash into an asteroid that is nearly seven million miles away in order to save the planet someday, we surely can take the time and effort to use our vote to save our planet — and our democracy — today

Until next time,

Jeanne

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