Thursday, October 19, 2006


It’s that time of year again, when campaign advertisements are everywhere – on television, in our mailboxes, on our front yards… I’m looking forward to Voting Day. I enjoy going to the polls, marking my circles and knowing that I’ve done my part in the political party. I don’t believe in apathy. Oh, I know it exists, but I certainly don’t think it’s an excuse.

As a small child (around three years old), I stood in the courtroom with dozens of other new citizens and pledged my allegiance to my adopted country. I became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. I don’t remember the ceremony. I don’t even remember the party that came after (though I’m told I had a blast), but I learned about it and then had the privilege to stand with my sister when she became a citizen.

Sometimes, I think that everyone in the United States should be required to take citizenship classes and the citizenship test that immigrants take to become naturalized. Because we are born to it (or almost born to it in my case), do we tend to take voting for granted? I see our percentages and I am awed by the number of people who do not go out and vote. Then, I see the people who do go out to vote, but don’t take the time to become educated on the issues that they are voting for.

Okay, I majored in political science in college. I know that I approach politics with a different eye than other people. I get discouraged by the reports of scandal and abuse that run as the headline on the evening news. However, instead of seeing them as a reason not to vote, I see them as more reason to vote. There is nothing that can be done from a chair in your living room, but you can send a message with your vote. You don’t have to be like me – staying up until 2:00am to send an e-mail to my congress person when I see a bill that upsets me or pleases me. Just vote.

I realize that as I push people to vote that I am pushing people who don’t agree with me. I have very strong opinions and I lean very strongly in one direction (hmmm, the opposite of right). However, the point of living in a free society is that we have differing opinions and we do not have to follow our leaders’ dictates. If we don’t like them, we can vote against them without any fear of persecution.

Vote! Vote! Vote! I’m really proud of this country that I adopted and I plan on taking advantage of the freedom that it offers.

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