To the Editor:
At this point in the election cycle I customarily write a letter urging everyone to exercise their right and responsibility, to get out and vote. There are many barriers and enemies of Democracy, one being the complacency of those who actually believe their votes don’t count or worse, that voting isn’t important.
For those who fall into either of those categories I want to say that your vote absolutely counts and voting is crucial, if only as a demonstration that you believe in the tenets of the Constitution – the very blueprint of our country’s house.
However, I want to go further and say, most sincerely, that in searching for a meaning to this election (for those who are skeptical) it might help if, when you judge the candidates, you keep in mind that what we all need and want is someone who brings people together – that to vote for someone who polarizes (divides) the nation, the state, the town or the county, is to say that only one segment of the population is important. We are all important and it is the candidate who you are convinced will represent everyone – not just your own interests – that will serve honorably, wisely and will serve inclusively.
We can think of the diversity of our neighbors – rich, poor, in-between, well-educated, hard-working, handicapped, people of color, gay, straight, people of faith, people whose driving force comes from a non-religious source, people who own homes, people who rent, people who are homeless – the list is endless.
If, when we close the curtain to the voting booth, we don’t think of all those who will be affected by our choices, we are not voting responsibly. We don’t merely speak for ourselves. We speak for each other.
My candidate for President of the United States is Barack Obama because I believe he meets this criteria as a leader, but most importantly, as a person in the way he has conducted his campaign and the way he has lived his life.
I urge everyone, especially those who haven’t realized the full potential of their citizenship – the ones who aren’t convinced of their own importance in this precious process – to search their respective and collective conscience and vote for the candidate who best answers the question: What can this person do for me, for my diverse neighbors, for this country and for our role in the world?
Daphne Lehava Stern, Bristol