In view of my recent writings about voter apathy, I found a rather profound commentary from President Calvin Coolidge dating back to 1924 that addresses the issue quite well. Permit me to quote Coolidge directly.
“All the opportunity for self-government through the rule of the people depends upon one single factor. That is the ballot box…The people of our country are sovereign. If they do not vote they abdicate that sovereignty, and they may be entirely sure that if they relinquish it other forces will seize it, and if they fail to govern themselves some other power will rise up to govern them. The choice is always before them, whether they will be slaves or whether they will be free. The only way to be free is to exercise actively and energetically the privileges, and discharge faithfully the duties which make freedom. It is not to be secured by passive resistance. It is the result of energy and action…
Persons who have the right to vote are trustees for the benefit of their country and their countrymen. They have no right to say they do not care.
They must care! They have no right to say that whatever the result of the election they can get along. They must remember that their country and their countrymen cannot get along, cannot remain sound, cannot preserve its institutions, cannot protect its citizens, cannot maintain its place in the world, unless those who have the right to vote do sustain and do guide the course of public affairs by the thoughtful exercise of that right on election day.”
Well said, President Coolidge! Considering the fact that only 63.6% of eligible voters participated in the 2008 presidential election, that means that more than one-third of Americans failed to participate and apparently have lost faith in our government.
America desperately needs a greater percentage of our population to get to the polls and participate in the voting process. If you do not like the way things are going then it is your duty to learn all you can about the candidates and express your opinion for the future leadership of this country with your vote. If you do not vote, you should keep your mouth shut and be ashamed, especially if you are taking any government handouts.