Democracy and freedom are taken too lightly by the citizens of this nation, as barely more than half of those eligible to vote went to the polls in the 2012 election.
In his book One Nation Under God, Notre Dame history professor Mark Noll writes: “If the God who made all human beings also made the public sphere and ordained government to promote justice for all, then it is apparent that God has given all men and women a stake in politics.”
Election 2014 is an opportunity for all citizens of South Carolina to be involved in the political system, whether they have an abundance of this world’s goods or few material possessions. We, the citizen voters, will determine who will represent us in the state government in Columbia and in the Congress in Washington. Going to the polls and making an informed choice in selecting governmental leadership is a precious right and exquisite privilege.
The ballot is the great leveler: Every citizen, no matter one’s social status or ethnic origin, has a claim to a ballot. Voting is our bounden duty and sacred civic responsibility. An informed decision at the polls is witness to one’s patriotism, our means of keeping alive our forefathers’ vision of “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Patriotism demands that all segments of society become knowledgeable as to the issues, the position of the candidates on those issues and the core values of the political parties that the candidates represent. Voting is the responsibility of all people living in a free society. It is the means of keeping alive that freedom. Let us not forget how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights.
As we prepare to cast our ballot, may we be reminded that our choices will have a profound effect not only on our lives but also on the well being of our neighbors and of the generation that follows us. The words of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president, speak to all citizens as they cast their ballot: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Every vote counts. Yours can make a difference.
Rev. Canon George I. Chassey