Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why Vote?

I write today in an effort to urge you to register and to vote.  Voter turnout, even in presidential elections is very poor in this country.  In the 2008 federal elections, just over 57% of eligible voters actually voted, and that was a higher percent than usual.  The reasons are many, including a feeling that it just doesn't matter, that all politicians are the same or corrupt, that negative campaigning turns many people off. 
I understand.
However, when 57% of the voters decide, then we have placed our future and our children's future in their hands.
I could go into various arguments about why I disagree with the reasons given for not voting, but I don't think that would change a lot of minds.
Instead, I'll share two personal stories.
The first is about when I testified before the National labor Relations Board in Washington about a proposed rule change that would determine the obstacles to a group of workers trying to unionize.  The men and women on the board had been appointed by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Obama.  Their views were already public.  It was then that I realised how deep the decisions we make on election day go.  It's not just the laws passed or not passed, its appointments to the labor board, the Supreme Court, and others.  It effects our daily lives.
The second story is very personal. 
When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, my dad and many others, left school and enlisted in the marines.  They went to war to protect the freedom we enjoy.  My dad was severely burned landing on a beach in the South Pacific.  He spent a year in the hospital, nearly died more than once, needed multiple skin grafts, and lived with the scars, including to the face.  Unlike his father, who was a Rhode Island state senator, or his brother Matt, who held town office, my dad stayed out of politics.  On every election day, he quietly made the trip and cast his ballot, he had earned that right for himself, for me, and for you.
If for no other reason than to honor those who have fought to give us the right to vote, I urge you to take the time to do so.
There is still time.
You can follow the link below for registering in Connecticut and other states have similar sites.

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