“We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (3rd U. S. President)
This is a participatory democracy. And participation in the election process is our legacy. Voting has been a big deal in my family for generations. Mother was a poll watcher and spent endless hours volunteering at party headquarters when I was growing up. My grandfather, Roy Jones (1875-1972), served as an elected official in Piatt County, Illinois for over three decades. His great-grandfather, James Houck (1783-1883), cast his first ballot in Ohio for Thomas Jefferson in 1804 and then served as Township Treasurer for years. Roy’s father-in-law, Ira Miner (1840-1927), was a member of the Wide-Awakes who battled to elect Abraham Lincoln at the Chicago convention. I have a long-standing legacy to honor every time I vote. And so do you.
Each of us immigrants has a story in which either we or our ancestors made a decision to come to this land of opportunity in search of freedom. But, as Thomas Edison once quipped; “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” There is work involved in citizenship which can be meaningfully exercised on Election Day.
The ability to vote exists as one of the most cherished of Constitutional Rights. It has been fought for, marched for, and died for since George Washington was first elected 229 years ago. What an incredible opportunity we have to share in the forming and reforming of our government! We can be a part of the magnificent shaping of our own destiny and building our nation. What better work is there than that!
Ask yourself this important question on November 6;
What kind of a country do I want?
Then make good choices in the voting booth. Help our nation to fulfill the highest ideals and guide us to more richly live out our principles. We can accomplish great things. Let’s honor our sacred legacy and be good citizens.