U.S.

November 2, 2012

Captain asks: Why bother voting?

Capt. TODD ZIELINSKI
56th Training Squadron

Why should I bother voting in elections? What does my single vote matter? It’s an all-too-common sentiment in the U.S. as voter turnout rates have historically remained very low in elections held every two years.

Low voter turnout is especially surprising when considering the millions of people in the past who have fought and died for freedom and the ability to determine their governing leadership. Furthermore, as a people of action, we need to be able to step up and speak up for what we believe. While not an advocacy article for a specific political candidate, party or philosophy, I can only hope to convey my reasons for voting and why I feel it is important, if able, to exercise this sacred right.

In presidential elections since 1972, voter turnout amongst eligible voters in the United States has been right around 50 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2008, the voter turnout was a relatively ‘high’ turnout of 57.1 percent of eligible voters, up several percentage points from the 2004 and 2000 elections, with rates of 55.7 percent and 50.3 percent respectively.

It surprises me that, historically, just less than one in two adults in the U.S. do not vote. Granted, some are unable due to injury, mental inability or circumstances beyond their control. I would venture to say, however, the majority of nonvoters have the means and ability but choose not to. While many have their reasons, and all have every right to refrain from voting, it still surprises me that so few choose to exercise this right to elect individuals that will ultimately affect policies that impact the voters’ very own lives.

Today, millions of people around the world have no say in who governs them. In some societies, speaking out against the government can have life-changing, if not life-ending, consequences. Dictatorships, autocracies, totalitarian regimes and faux democracies prevail in the world today. Evidence of this and the quest for self-governance has proved evident across the Middle East, as discontented populations have changed or are changing the regimes that govern them by force.

As Americans, we are fortunate. Since our country’s formation more than 200 years ago, we have possessed the power to elect our local, state and national leadership. It’s all too easy to take this for granted and think that our individual say in the matter is not worth the effort to register and vote. Imagine if every eligible voter didn’t vote. Imagine if they did. On a macro level the effect would be monumental either way.

Personally I vote for two reasons. Most importantly, I believe it is critical to determine who will lead my nation, state and community. Secondly, I vote as a way of showing appreciation to the millions of men and women who have fought, suffered and died throughout history in pursuit of my right to do so.

My humble advice is simple – if you are able and of age, get informed and vote. Regardless of political affiliation, exercise the right to vote won by those who served before in pursuit of self-determination.

As former President Abraham Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg Address (1863), “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

2015 NFL Pro Bowl players practice at Luke

Senior Airman Grace Lee Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos cornerback, assigned to Team Carter, signs footballs for fans at Luke. NFL Pro Bowl players came to the Luke Air Force Base football field Jan. 21 to practice and sign autograp...
 
 

Let’s be an all-volunteer force

Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year. By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year’s resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I’m sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to....
 
 

Stay out of rain; see bigger picture

Supervisors, you build and lead teams to the best of your abilities. You hold an umbrella of protection over your people, but what do you do when one of your members runs into the rain via a bad decision? Do you take your protective umbrella from other members to go cover your solo member? Or...
 

 
Senior Airman
GRACE LEE

Luke 1 takes last Viper ride

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, returns from his last flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon Jan. 23 at Luke Air Force Base. Pleus’ last flight symbolizes Luke stepping forward with a ne...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. today in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service members...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

61st AMU assigns first F-35 dedicated crew chiefs

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS Members of the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chiefs prepare to recite the Mechanic’s Creed during the recognition ceremony Jan. 23 in Hanger 431 at Luke Air Force Base. Seventeen ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin