Point: voting is everyone's duty

How are my fellow Americans doing today? Are you enjoying the lifestyle the rest of the world wishes they had? Are you well fed, clothed, and sheltered? Do your children have the opportunity to go to school, get their education, and look forward to becoming a part of the American dream the way you did? Do you take advantage of the freedoms provided for you by the Constitution? If your answer is yes to all, or even some, of the above, then you should take a minute to realize how lucky you are, because the great majority of people in this world can't even imagine living so bountifully.

You should also take a minute to recognize that this freedom, this lifestyle, this dream, did not magically appear as a gift from above. Thomas Jefferson said: 'The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.' It's important to keep in mind that everything we possess, be it monetary wealth, abundant food, the longest life expectancy on the globe, or the right to disagree with our government, had to be fought for, and very often, died for. Battlefields around the world have been sprinkled with the hot blood of America's thirst for freedom. This very day, those who are risking their lives in foreign lands are guaranteeing the future security of our country.

Perhaps the most important freedom they are fighting and dying for is the freedom to vote. Those who have lived under tyrannical regimes have no concept of what it means to be free to choose the people who govern them. If they are fortunate enough to emigrate to a democracy, one of the first things they look forward to doing, after kissing the ground in humble appreciation, is having the experience of casting a ballot in a free and fair election. Imagine: these people spend a large portion of their lives fantasizing about having a voice in their future. Meanwhile, half of the eligible voters in the richest, healthiest, most powerful country on earth are either too lazy, too spoiled, or too apathetic to get up off the couch and drive, walk, or even crawl, if necessary, to a polling place in their area and make use of the freedom that was paid for with an ocean of blood. This is not an issue of political preference; nor is it about individual issues. Whom you vote for is not nearly as important as the fact that you vote!

Excuses such as, 'It doesn't matter whom you vote for because they're all the same,' and 'I don't like any of the candidates, so I'm going to stay home on Election Day,' are merely the pathetic murmurings of the self absorbed who would like to project the image that they're much too busy and important to educate themselves about the people who will be governing them. While soldiers are sacrificing their lives thousands of miles away so John and Jane Doe can live comfortably, the Doe's refuse to sacrifice a few minutes every year or so in appreciation of the commitment made by those soldiers. Many have said if the attack on America had occurred the day before a scheduled plebiscite, we'd have the largest voter turnout in history. But why do we have to suffer a disaster before we snap out of our self—induced, egocentric coma? The best insurance against invasion is a united army of informed and involved citizens, willing to take the time to exercise the freedoms we talk about when we speak proudly of this great nation.

Your next—door neighbor, or the couple down the street, may have lost a son or daughter in a war overseas. Do you think they haven't paid the cost of freedom? Do you think they take it for granted? What baffles me is that some people have the attitude that their vote doesn't mean much when counted among the millions of others cast. Suppose everyone thought the same way? When Edmund Burke said: 'All it takes for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,' he was talking about dictators who gain control because of the indifference of the people. In a market—driven economy, maybe we should charge a fee to vote. It's just possible that people would attach more value to it if it had a price tag. Of course, dead soldiers and their families already know the price.

Bob Weir writes the syndicated column, "Weir Only "Human." The author of 7 books, he is a retired NYPD sergeant, living in Flower Mound, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

How are my fellow Americans doing today? Are you enjoying the lifestyle the rest of the world wishes they had? Are you well fed, clothed, and sheltered? Do your children have the opportunity to go to school, get their education, and look forward to becoming a part of the American dream the way you did? Do you take advantage of the freedoms provided for you by the Constitution? If your answer is yes to all, or even some, of the above, then you should take a minute to realize how lucky you are, because the great majority of people in this world can't even imagine living so bountifully.

You should also take a minute to recognize that this freedom, this lifestyle, this dream, did not magically appear as a gift from above. Thomas Jefferson said: 'The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.' It's important to keep in mind that everything we possess, be it monetary wealth, abundant food, the longest life expectancy on the globe, or the right to disagree with our government, had to be fought for, and very often, died for. Battlefields around the world have been sprinkled with the hot blood of America's thirst for freedom. This very day, those who are risking their lives in foreign lands are guaranteeing the future security of our country.

Perhaps the most important freedom they are fighting and dying for is the freedom to vote. Those who have lived under tyrannical regimes have no concept of what it means to be free to choose the people who govern them. If they are fortunate enough to emigrate to a democracy, one of the first things they look forward to doing, after kissing the ground in humble appreciation, is having the experience of casting a ballot in a free and fair election. Imagine: these people spend a large portion of their lives fantasizing about having a voice in their future. Meanwhile, half of the eligible voters in the richest, healthiest, most powerful country on earth are either too lazy, too spoiled, or too apathetic to get up off the couch and drive, walk, or even crawl, if necessary, to a polling place in their area and make use of the freedom that was paid for with an ocean of blood. This is not an issue of political preference; nor is it about individual issues. Whom you vote for is not nearly as important as the fact that you vote!

Excuses such as, 'It doesn't matter whom you vote for because they're all the same,' and 'I don't like any of the candidates, so I'm going to stay home on Election Day,' are merely the pathetic murmurings of the self absorbed who would like to project the image that they're much too busy and important to educate themselves about the people who will be governing them. While soldiers are sacrificing their lives thousands of miles away so John and Jane Doe can live comfortably, the Doe's refuse to sacrifice a few minutes every year or so in appreciation of the commitment made by those soldiers. Many have said if the attack on America had occurred the day before a scheduled plebiscite, we'd have the largest voter turnout in history. But why do we have to suffer a disaster before we snap out of our self—induced, egocentric coma? The best insurance against invasion is a united army of informed and involved citizens, willing to take the time to exercise the freedoms we talk about when we speak proudly of this great nation.

Your next—door neighbor, or the couple down the street, may have lost a son or daughter in a war overseas. Do you think they haven't paid the cost of freedom? Do you think they take it for granted? What baffles me is that some people have the attitude that their vote doesn't mean much when counted among the millions of others cast. Suppose everyone thought the same way? When Edmund Burke said: 'All it takes for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,' he was talking about dictators who gain control because of the indifference of the people. In a market—driven economy, maybe we should charge a fee to vote. It's just possible that people would attach more value to it if it had a price tag. Of course, dead soldiers and their families already know the price.

Bob Weir writes the syndicated column, "Weir Only "Human." The author of 7 books, he is a retired NYPD sergeant, living in Flower Mound, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com