Whether it's local, state, or federal government, follow high school student Karissa Swartz and see that the future leaders of America have a say in politics too.
Every four years an election comes along that seems to divide the country momentarily, as different views are represented with only one man to come out on top and earn the title of "Mr. President." This election is back in town again, and not only is it separating Republicans and Democrats, but a whole new sect is forming out of the Republicans. This sect goes by the name of "Tea Party," and this year some activists from the group claim they are not going to vote in November's election.
Why do they say this? Some members think that Romney is far too moderate and is only disguising himself as a conservative in order to gain votes. Most accuse Romney of being a RINO, while others think he concentrates too much on enticing the independents or moderates. Most of the members of the Tea Party are far right conservatives, and they feel that Romney could possibly win their support if he gave a genuine effort to appeal to the party he is running with.
Now whether this is true or not can be further discussed later. Now, I would like to touch on a different aspect of the issue: the problem resulting from the abstention of voting.
So it's not a big deal that some Republicans don't want to vote, right? Wrong. It's not even the fact that it's the Republican Party that is refusing to vote. The underlying issue is that by a citizen not voting, he is relinquishing his civil right of suffrage that took years and years to gain. The fact is that by voting, you are letting your voice be heard. You are making a difference whenever you check that box and cast your ballot. Voting is not something to be taken lightly or overlooked, but so often these days it has become an option when just a few decades ago it was a priority.
The report that I read quoted Ana Puig, the state director of FreedomWorks and the co-chairwoman of Bucks County's Kitchen Table Patriots tea party group, along with Scott Burkholder, an organizer in the York County 912 Patriots. Both of them agree that many tea party members not voting could be dangerous. Puig also seems to think that not voting at all is the same as voting for the Democrat incumbent, Barack Obama.
I'd have to agree with both of these statements. From my point of view, voting is seen as the one chance to let your voice be heard above the masses. You have an opportunity to change the outcome, but when you surrender this right, you also deny and reject your duty. People fought and died for the right to gain suffrage; the United States is a republic where people are able to let their voices be heard. So often this liberty is taken for granted, but it's always important to remember that this liberty was not free—it came with a price.
No candidate is perfect. Neither is any registered voter. Don't let that deter you; if you don't vote, you have let your chance to speak slip away. Research your candidates, and find out about the things that the television commercials aren't telling you. Know what you stand for and support the man who stands for those same things. If you don't vote, you relinquish your liberty and therefore have no right to complain. Don't abstain from voting, for one day we may not possess this great right and liberty that we do today.