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Exercise Your Rights as a Citizen

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I’ve just done the one thing which I feel sets me apart from many more unfortunate people in other countries: voted. I got to go to a polling location and cast my single vote for whomever I feel would be the best person, or at least not the worst person, for the job. I mean, government can strip my rights to a fair trial or any civil rights and declare martial law at will, so I think voting to oust the bastards who passed this kind of constitution-screwing garbage is the least of my rights, no, *responsibilities* as a citizen of this country.

Since everyone else likes to quote the venerable “founding fathers”, I’ll quote Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety“. We’ve obviously given up essential liberties, and perhaps purchased a little temporary safety. Perhaps. (Not for anyone actually getting shot at, but I guess we’ve bought some time for the rest of us couch jockeys.) Do we really deserve the freedoms with which we have been blessed by men with far more foresight than we?

Election day isn’t just a great day because it’s the day when the stupid attack ads and robodialing stops, it’s the day when my point of view becomes a part of the public, and when I have the chance to finally allow my actions to speak louder than my words. I won’t advocate that anyone vote for a particular candidate, but I won’t tell people not to vote or that they can’t vote. Depriving people of their constitutional rights is one of the worst things apart from physical harm which can be afflicted in a working representative democracy.

For crying out loud, get up off your couch or chair, get to the polls. If you don’t make yourself heard, someone else with a louder voice will take that away from you. And if you’re planning on having children, don’t “think of the children” only when some politician scares you enough to believe that voting for them will keep the kiddie-philes away; think of them when you consider the legacy that you will leave them. Our constitution is a living, breathing document, which is effected by every law passed, every judgment made, every breath taken. We need to make sure that what we and our forefathers have had, ever since they immigrated to this country (since we all are immigrants, to one degree or another): liberty. Don’t try to export what we can’t keep for ourselves.

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