A birth is realized whenever we vote
In a sense we witness a new birth of our nation every time we vote. Today is our nation’s official birthday noting its beginning and the years that have passed. The country has changed a lot over the last 242 years because of our annual votes.
You and I just get one year older on our birthdays. Our nation, however, seems to shift on election days. New perspectives, new directions, and even new national personalities are formed. We cast our ballots and a new day dawns; very much like a new nation is born. It’s an awesome responsibility.
Let’s start at the beginning and our nation’s first birth – the birthday we celebrate every year.
The birth of our United States
The history.com article, “1776 U.S. Declares Independence,” noted this day in history. The United States didn’t just spring out of nowhere. It was formed from a rich array of influences from people, ideas, and values. Mostly, it sprung forth from a collective desire to be on our own – independent and free.
Helping us to learn of our nation’s past, history.org provides insight with its article, “Democratic Values – Liberty, Equality, Justice.” It notes:
In the late 18th century the Founders created the blueprints for the United States government in an effort to achieve these delicate balances: between liberty and order, and between liberty and equality. Their success is reflected in the continuing efforts to refine them. The formula has changed with time, but the framework provided by the Constitution and the values expressed by the Declaration of Independence remain the same.
Voting forms who we are
As we celebrate this nation’s birthday, we should remember that we do more than simply sustain a country when we vote. We are encouraged to give our country a new birth. Colin Powell, a retired four-star U.S. Army general and recipient of three electoral votes in 2016, has said:
You’re not just voting for an individual, in my judgment, you’re voting for an agenda. You’re voting for a platform. You’re voting for a political philosophy.
Voting is critical for our nation, not just for today but also for our future and the future of generations that follow. Even voices from other countries weigh in about the importance of voting. For example, Tzipi Livni, a former Foreign Minister of Israel tells of how voting affects a nation:
I believe that democracy is about values before it is about voting. These values must be nurtured within society and integrated into the electoral process itself.
Voting should not be avoided
Far from the excitement of a new birth, however, voting often seems to be a burden. Excuses for not voting are many and other priorities compete with the task. Eileen Myles, American author and writing professor, notes how important voting is and that we may treat it as mundane. She says:
A vote should be generative, not like business as usual, which is what voting feels like for most of us.
In case we may be tempted to not vote, Thomas Hauser, an American author, has warned:
Not voting is disrespecting the best of what this nation stands for.
Voting is about character
Admittedly, it’s difficult to vote. Not because it’s inconvenient or time-consuming. We may often be perplexed as to whom to vote for. What then? In this era of severe political polarization, one measure to strongly consider is echoed by Roger Mudd, retired American broadcast journalist. He points to how the role a politician’s character matters. He said:
No matter what name we give it or how we judge it, a candidate’s character is central to political reporting because it is central to a citizen’s decision in voting.
It should come as no surprise, then, that as we vote, ushering in this new birth of our nation, character matters. The character of our political leaders makes a difference for it affects how you vote and our nation’s future. Your votes have consequences!
Equal Voice Voting assures all voters participate
Voting consequences is why Equal Voice Voting can promise so much for our presidential elections. Ensuring every vote counts and that every state matters in these special elections every four years should be fundamental for our democracy.
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, let’s also remind ourselves to cast our votes this fall. Let’s celebrate this awesome opportunity and responsibility when we exercise our democracy.
Be sure to vote!