It is a sound argument though not necessarily relevant to all corners of life.
For example ...
One may complain about the weather and still not vote without guilt.
One may bemoan the aging process and still not cast a ballot without regret.
One may condemn household chores like vacuuming, folding the laundry and mowing the lawn, and never visit a polling place while feeling no remorse.
Granted, the above are little more than incidentals that most people share in common, and all three most likely garner their share of disparaging remarks. But none has anything to do with voting nor are they influenced by those who cast ballots or those who do not.
But a few elements of life that are impacted by those who vote, and those who stay home, might include:
- Levels of taxation and how they impact American families everywhere;
- Health care and its costs, insurance and its shortcomings, and availability of medical assistance to all regardless of income, geographic region or individual circumstance;
- A proud nation’s degree of indebtedness, the distant consequences of such actions if left unchecked and the winding road toward recovery if it is to be traveled at all;
- The rising expense of everyday living — food, rent, education, clothing, medicine, transportation, utilities, energy and home ownership;
- A mindset of war, one international conflict after another, without apparent regard to short- and long-term goals, resolution or future avoidance;
- Senior citizen care, the future of Social Security and Medicare, and the impact of their uncertainty on the lives of those who spent decades paying for it;
- The plight of tomorrow’s elderly — the Baby Boomer Generation — many of whom are now retiring and who face unprecedented loss of confidence in a future they personally forged through hard work, modest payrolls and constant taxation;
- The demise of the Middle Class, those who never relied on government support yet those whose livelihoods could never stake a claim on independent wealth; and
- Many, many, many other typical, everyday examples of American life — whether that life dwells in homes stretching from Cleveland, Tenn., to Seattle, Wash., or Bangor, Maine, to Brownsville, Texas.
Some might debate the power of a single vote on any or all of the above. But one vote, cast individually by thousands and thousands of registered voters, can make a difference. Such a difference can be big. Such a difference can be small.
But if it’s a difference deemed to be needed and worthy of the people, then only the American voter can make it happen.
Making it happen starts in our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown today with the launch of Early Voting. Those who wish to cast their ballots ahead of the traditional Aug. 2 Election Day may do so through Saturday, July 28. After that, the final voting opportunity will be Election Day when polling places will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Early voting can be done at three satellite locations: The Bradley County Election Commission Office in the downtown Courthouse Annex, the North Satellite at Bradley Square Mall and the South Satellite at the BI-LO Shopping Center at McGrady Drive and APD 40 Bypass.
Early Voting hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Voting early is a convenience created for the general population. Election Day is a heritage, one still very much steeped in tradition and still passionately married to Uncle Sam, apple pie and this great American privilege.
Yet “when” one votes is not the key. “How” one votes is a personal choice. And “whether” one votes?
It is a defining moment, the inevitable crossroads that lead some to stake a claim in the direction of their future while others will bow to a future that directs them.