To the Editor:
Every two years we are called to exercise our right and our duty as citizens of the United States of America and vote.
As children we learn that we must earn our privileges and freedoms, our fun if you will, by being responsible, doing our chores and contributing to the family.
As adults we must take this responsibility to vote and earn our freedoms.
It can be difficult to know how to vote and who to vote for.
Perhaps we can pick an issue or two that matters to us — health care, environment, jobs, taxes — and find out how a candidate voted or says that s/he would vote for a specific issue. And then question yourself.
Do you want to elect someone who will vote to cut Medicaid, food stamps or unemployment benefits? What does this mean to you or your neighbors? Try to make the issue personal and local — how would it affect your community?
Try to understand the reality of unemployment benefits for the person who loses a job through no fault of her/his own — how exactly do you think that this person will be able to pay rent or electrify if benefits are cut — try to imagine what you would do if you lost your job.
What about environmental issues — clean air and clean water — how can this not matter to you — think of your children and their children and the legacy we are giving them.
Try to learn what is going on in your community.
Yes — there are many, perhaps too many, issues — please, just pick one and learn about it. It is so easy with the Internet to find out for yourself what is happening, what is the truth.
These are difficult times — how to make the right choice can be confusing or even scary.
Don’t let the media convince you that your vote will not count, that your voice will not be heard — it will only not be heard if you don’t use it.
We as a country must take responsibility; we must learn to vote not only as patriots, not only as Christians, not only from our past — but for our future. We must know how our choices affect ourselves, our families, our communities, our country and yes, even the whole world.
We must get past the emotional issues and ask ourselves and our candidates — how can we create jobs here in our communities — how can we care for the poor and needy — how can we heal our communities and get past our fears and re-build our country.
Ask your candidates how they did or would and will vote on what truly matters to you and then use your voice — cast your vote on National Election Day.