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.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




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