Exercise your right to vote

The 2020 election day is drawing closer. American people need to take this election seriously, more than has been demonstrated in the past considering the poor voter turnout. We Americans cannot let this Covid-19 pandemic be a deterrent or excuse.

Even in a normal year devoid of a pandemic, statistics indicate that only about half the population of the USA turns out to vote. The half not voting may include those that may not be eligible to vote due to underage, felony conviction, mental competence, etc. However, there are those that choose not to exercise their right, or more accurately privilege, to vote. Call it apathy, disinterest, disenfranchisement, or whatever, but they do not vote. President Nixon once eluded to some of this group as the silent majority. That sums up a candidate’s frustrations. Trying to understand the silent majority.

Then there are the hardliners. Party loyalists that most of the time only vote the party line. About 20% for one party and 20% for the other party. That leaves roughly 10% of the American population that decides which candidate gets elected. That’s a terrible scenario for a democracy.

Democracy is not a given. Failing to take voting seriously is a recipe for disaster. President Reagan and Michail Gorbachev had a noble goal. Half the goal was met with the fall of the USSR. However, the other half was to have Russia become more democratic. The Russian citizens let democracy slip through their hands. Instead, oligarchs and gangsters took over with Vladamir Putin elected president for life, the biggest gangster of them all.

In the 1930s and 40s President Roosevelt was elected 4 times. The fair enough excuse was to continue to serve due to the Great Depression and then followed by a World War. President Truman’s commission to reform the federal government recommended the Presidential 2 term limit to Congress in 1947. In 1951 the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. President Truman was the last to be permitted to run for election for more than two terms, but nobly declined.

When a voter has the ballot and ponders the candidates, the main thought question should be; which candidate will do the best job? Hopefully, regardless of the candidate’s political party affiliation. However, is it possible that an elected president could trump up the support, and another excuse or cause, to repeal the 22nd Amendment? Or, worse; President for life? We can’t afford to elect someone with that sort of mentality; or, we could end up like Russia.

Could it happen? Crazier things have occurred in the past in the USA; the Civil War, Prohibition, Reservations, Internment camps, etc. A recent crazy suggestion was to postpone the November 2020 election. Some things to ponder. Ohio Lt. Governor Husted and Ohio Secretary of State LaRose have taken serious steps to assure Ohio voters will be able to cast a ballot, especially during all the troubles and logistics associated with the pandemic and the postal service. With options like absentee and early voting there are no excuses. Your government officials and tax dollars are hard at work to assure you are able to vote. Don’t let that go to waste by putting off voting. If you have questions or special needs, contact the County Board of Elections. Rise up silent majority and be silent no more. Please vote.

John Gaynor