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.


 
 

 
Samuel Price

RMO, stakeholders keep eye on sky

Samuel Price The road used to get onto the Barry M. Goldwater Range lies beneath the running water July 9, 2014, that resulted from monsoon rains. With data from the additional recently installed weather stations, personnel wil...
 
 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 

 

Air Force OSI agents prevent online exploitation of children

QUANTICO, Va. — Child sex crimes are not unique to any particular base but are a perpetual problem across the Air Force and society. Online exploitation of children continues to be a problem and is routinely investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. As part of this effort, AFOSI field units have partnered...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 




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