Franklin?Delano Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” During this season of elections, truer words have never been spoken.


 

Franklin?Delano Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”


During this season of elections, truer words have never been spoken.


Everywhere I go lately, someone is complaining about the state of affairs. They don’t like the president.?They don’t like the men and women of Congress. They can’t stand their governor.?They take issue with their local officials. Everywhere I go, and my reaction is always the same. I say to  them, “Well, did you vote?”?“Um, no,” seems to be the general consensus. I have to keep my teeth clenched to stop from shouting out, “Well, shut up, then!”


It’s ironic isn’t it? More and more people get up in arms about the people elected to serve them, when they themselves had nothing to do with the process. Scratch ironic. It’s ridiculous.


The right to vote is truly a wonderful thing. Voters have the ability to change the world. I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah. right! My one little vote means nothing.”?I do get where you’re coming from, but that’s just not true.


If every single American eligible to vote, actually took the time out to research candidates, and then make informed choices in the polling booth, the world could and would change. Each individual vote cast, when added together, says more than any shouting match in any town hall or school gymnasium. Why can’t people see that?


We, as a nation, love to lay blame. We love to have an opinion, and can’t wait to voice it, so why oh why, when it comes to perhaps the most important use of our voices do so many continue to go unheard? It’s mind boggling.


When it comes to complaining about the people in political office, so many people turn into dogs with very meaty bones. They sink their teeth into all of the negatives, simply for something to disagree with, instead of taking the rights and responsibilities given to them and working towards a positive outcome.


“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user,” said ol’ Teddy Roosevelt, and he, along with his distant cousin we heard from earlier, is also right on the money.


When people complain about the state of those in political office, but have never taken the time to be part of the process, I do question their character. I look at them negatively, because if you care enough to shout, you should care enough to pull a lever on election day. I look at them negatively, as anyone can spout out a bunch of garbage aimed at diminishing the words of another, but it takes a real person to do something to work towards change. That takes strength. That takes conviction. That, my friends, takes character.


Voting is such a wonderful right. It allows us to have an opinion, one which we can either shout from the rooftops or keep entirely private. So many people don’t have that right, and they kill and die for it somewhere in the world everyday. What a waste of that right when so many of America’s people devalue it on such a regular basis.


I urge you,?America. Get out and vote. Take the time to know what’s going on in your neck of the woods. Be involved in the process. Start looking at your vote as something that has the power to change things.


Perhaps the man known to so many as America’s Storyteller, Louis L’Amour, says it best: “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”


When I began this column, the intention was not to lecture, but this really is an issue that gets to me. It fires me up that the loudest voices are at times shouted by those with the weakest of actions.


So as another of my lectures to a close, please vote. Use a right given you to be proactive, please, because there are some of us that are quite fed up with all of your whining.


Contact Charlotte Guedry at editor@weeklycitizen.com.