... your principles, your pocketbook, your politics or
your passion. Vote for the better candidate, whether you think the field is
desirable, or leaves a lot to be desired. In this and every election season,
no matter the reason, it’s
crucial that citizens exercise this basic right.
On Nov. 5th, Virginians will elect 100 fellow citizens to
represent them for two-year terms in the House of Delegates, as well as a
new governor, lieutenant
governor, and attorney general. No matter how few, or how
many, registered voters show up at the polls and vote, these 103 state
offices will be filled.
We hope you will be among those who exercise your right
to help determine these outcomes.
It’s a right that a majority of the world’s residents
don’t possess. It’s a right the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) pledged their
lives, their liberty and their honor to make possible. It’s a right that
subsequent generations of Americans, up to and including the present day,
have put life and limb at risk to preserve.
Yet, sadly, it’s a right only about
half of us exercise, our absence often explained by inclement weather,
white-hot anger at petty partisanship, weary resignation over an assumed
outcome, or cynicism as to the relevance of any outcome.
Please, though, don’t let anger or apathy be your guiding
light. Let your involvement honor a remarkable process put in place over 220
years ago, a process whose success hinges on average people getting involved
deeply in the issues of the day, and electing representatives that they
believe are most qualified to convert good ideas into sound public policy.
So, if you’re satisfied with the incumbent, vote. If you
prefer the challenger, vote. If you’re satisfied, or dissatisfied, with all
the choices, make a difficult decision and vote.
Vote your conscience; vote your values; vote your
interests. But the important thing, the crucial thing, the imperative thing
for each of us, as citizens, is to participate in the process. To express
our views through the ballot. To vote.
The media and the politicos may influence, but don’t
determine, who runs the Commonwealth. You do. So make your voice heard.
Speak out. Do so by engaging in this most basic right of a free people, the
right to vote.
Be sure to exercise this right on Nov. 5. It’s a right
that’s been eloquently addressed by some great thinkers over the years, so
we herewith share some choice quotes gleaned from across the political
spectrum, the globe, and the centuries.
“Government is too big and important to be left to the
— Chester Bowles, 20th-century American business leader
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers
of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe
— Thomas Jefferson, Virginian, 3rd U.S. president,
statesman, philosopher, inventor, architect and founder of The University of
“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do
what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.”
— Rick Mercer, contemporary Canadian humorist and
“The most important political office is that of the
— Louis Brandeis, early 20th-century U.S. Supreme Court
justice and legal scholar.
“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long,
has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.”
— Richard Armour, 20th-century literary scholar and
writer of popular light verse.
“Mankind will never see an end of trouble until ...
lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power ...
become lovers of wisdom.”
— Plato, ancient Greek philosopher and founder of the
first institution of higher learning in the Western World.