Noel Sheppard has a column up over at Real Clear Politics. In it he reminds those who are thinking about sitting out the election what exactly that means. He also points out that those who choose not to vote dishonor those who have died to secure the right to vote, not just American voters, either.
2,808 Americans have died in Iraq the past 43 months. Another 282 have met such a fate in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Likely all are rolling over in their graves as fellow countrymen who sent them to war are threatening to boycott Election Day.
Particularly disheartening to these fallen heroes must be the conservative abstentions, as likely 90 percent of such Americans were in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, while probably 100 percent supported invading Afghanistan after 9/11. It must be unfathomable to these brave souls that the very people who rallied politicians to risk lives for these efforts are now turning their backs on the honored dead, and what they died for.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.—Thomas Paine
As amazing as it might seem, due to Republican failures to curtail spending, solve illegal immigration, cure Social Security, and police corruption, many Party members are forgetting the more than a million Americans that have died in battle for the precious right to vote.
Should we forsake that right now because this Congress has failed to address such issues? What does that say to the 3,090 soldiers that have died to give Iraqis and Afghanis such a right, or to the 170,000 Americans still at risk to protect it?
Maybe more importantly, would any of the fallen abstain from voting as result of these other issues if they were still alive today?
If the people fail to vote, a government will be developed which is not their government…. The whole system of American Government rests on the ballot box. Unless citizens perform their duties there, such a system of government is doomed to failure.—Calvin Coolidge
As the elections draw near, I find myself getting angrier and angrier. On a daily basis, I receive e-mail messages from conservative readers explaining why they’re not going to vote on November 7. Fellow conservative bloggers have elucidated their views on this subject supporting the abstainers, and explaining why a Democrat victory in eight days isn’t such a bad thing.
I won't belabor this, Sheppard has done a masterful job. (Highly recommended reading). In my own opinion, the absolute worst thing for any citizen is to fail to do your duty as a citizen. Voting is both a duty and a right. And too many Americans have died to secure your right to vote through the years for you to sit at home. Americans have secured the rights of many other foreign nations to vote as well. American soldiers gave their lives for most of Europe to have that right. Our soldiers have died to secure those rights all over the world, not just for Americans.
If you sit the election out, you disgrace those who have paid the price to give you your right to vote. Vote for someone. Do not negate their sacrifice out of spite, or anger or disgust. Exercise your right, purchased with the blood of others. Honor your duty as a citizen of the nation.