It's just one vote

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Mike Saylor
  • Director, Mission Support
From the economy to foreign policy, no one seems to agree these days. Politicians are a dime a dozen. And whether you register or not, you get inundated with ads that rarely help you sort out who's best for the job anyway. 

So why vote? A brief look at some significant events may provide an answer.

In 1773, the British parliament enacted a tax break to help stabilize the economy. However, this was viewed by many colonists as more "taxation without representation" -- a violation of the English Bill of Rights. Therefore, 116 people representing hundreds more colonists dumped 90,000 pounds of tea in what became known as the Boston Tea Party.

Three years later, 56 men, representing the 13 colonies, signed a historical document declaring our independence. Some 4,435 men subsequently gave their lives in the American Revolutionary War to secure this nation's freedom.

The United States Constitution was set forth in 1787, forever establishing the power of the people, by the people, for the people -- the form of representative government we enjoy in America to this day.

Amendments 15, 19, 24, and 26 guarantee our right to vote shall not be denied "on account of race, color"..."sex (gender)"..." by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax"...or "on account of age." Unfortunately, far too many Americans take this privilege for granted and never vote.

In 2004, Afghanistan overcame 25 years of ethnic and tribal division and warfare to create a new national political identity. Special measures were required to register women, who until then were excluded from the political process. Despite threats of physical harm, thousands of Afghan voters proudly displayed their purple thumbs, a landmark victory for all democracy.

My hope is that history won't record that America had a huge part in helping others enjoy such freedoms while most Americans failed to exercise that same right in their own elections.

For the past 230 years, the United States has stood "for the common defence" of "certain unalienable Rights" that "We the People" believe make all men "created equal."

Hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives to defend our way of life. From the Civil War to Civil Rights, and from 9/11 to Afghanistan, Americans have stood tall against all enemies to ensure those freedoms for future generations, both here and abroad.

Why vote? History suggests it's your right, your civic duty and your blood-bought privilege. To learn more, visit: