Our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence pledged ‘their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor’ for our Freedoms. Many of them gave all of this in the effort to establish our nation. Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘Governments are instituted and derive their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.’ Article I Section 4, enshrined the process of voting in the US Constitution. Since then, over a million Americans have given their lives on the battlefield in defense of our sacred right to Vote. We are forced to ask, what do we in the modern-day pledge in response to the great sacrifice made by those who have gone before us? What do we pledge to each other? And what do we pledge to future generations? At a minimum, we should pledge to vote.
All across our great planet, people are fighting for the right to Vote. In 20 countries around the world, citizens do not have the right to vote. Women have only recently been given the right to vote in Saudi Arabia and still in several places it’s very difficult for women to vote due to high barriers and restrictions.
As a lifelong Christian and cradle Catholic, I’m mindful that Pope Francis has said, “Citizens cannot be indifferent to politics … I have to do my best by participating in politics … we all have to give something.” Our own local Bishop James Conley has spoken about our moral obligation to vote. “We’re called to be faithful citizens. May each of us work to build a just and free nation. And may we bring the principles of our faith to the public square, and to the voting booth.”
It has been heartening in the challenges of 2020 to see Nebraska break historical records with voting turnout and yet there are some who have grown careless and don’t exercise their duty to vote.
The same is true of our elected officials. We vote in order to elect representatives to make decisions for the betterment of our families and our communities. What do we say to elected officials who abuse this responsibility by not voting when they’re on the job? What do we say to the City Council representative who doesn’t vote on critical issues before the city? What do we say to a County Commissioner who doesn’t bother to vote on issues before the County? Or what do we say to a State Senator who doesn’t bother to cast a vote in Lincoln? And I’m not talking about missing one vote here or there, but what about an elected official who carelessly misses over 150 votes?!
As your State Senator, I will always do my best to do the primary thing you’ve elected me to do: VOTE!
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