Raise your voices

Tuesday November 6, 2012

"Thinking isn't agreeing or disagreeing. That's voting."

At least, that's how author Robert Frost puts it.

And never is that famous quote more apropos that every four years on Election Day.

That's today, for those of you living under a rock who somehow happened upon our editorial.

Today, Americans across the country have the chance to voice their opinions on town, county, state and national races. Here in Windham County, there's only one contested race (for the Windham-Bennington- Windsor Vermont House seat). But there's plenty of interesting races at the state level - auditor, attorney general, lieutenant governor and state governor.

So, as we do on a regular basis, we use this space today to advocate for readers to get out and vote. But don't take our word for it, consider some of these famous quotes on the importance of voting ....

Why vote?

As Lyndon B. Johnson once said: "The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men."

And as Plato illustrates in his dialogue "Protagoras," the right to vote is a great equalizer: "But when the question is an affair of state, then everybody is free to have a say - carpenter, tinker, cobbler, sailor, passenger; rich and poor, high and low - any one who likes gets up, and no one reproaches him, as in the former case, with not having learned, and having no teacher, and yet giving advice; evidently because they are under the impression that this sort of knowledge cannot be taught. And not only is this true of the state, but of individuals; the best and wisest of our citizens are unable to impart their political wisdom to others: as for example, Pericles, the father of these young men, who gave them excellent instruction in all that could be learned from masters, in his own department of politics neither taught them, nor gave them teachers; but they were allowed to wander at their own free will in a sort of hope that they would light upon virtue of their own accord."

Above all, voters should be educated about the issues of the day and about the candidates. And then, "Always vote for principle," as John Quincy Adams said, "though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

Exercise your right to vote on a regular basis, lest your voice never be heard. After all, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, there's only one person who will steal this right away from you: "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves-and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

At the end of the day, perhaps former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon put it best: "Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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