April 16th, 2007

Why You Should Vote


photo credit: Daquella

Let’s not kid ourselves. In a presidential election, our vote means nothing. Even in more local elections, whether it be for state or city government, our vote represents a very small portion of the total number of votes being cast on any given issue. The number of times an important issue has been decided upon by a single vote probably doesn’t reach double digits.

It is said that Joseph Stalin once remarked:

Those who cast the votes, they decide nothing. Those who count the votes, they decide everything. (Joseph Stalin, via Quoty)

With The Electoral College deciding (most) presidential elections and Diebold counting the ballots, Stalin’s statement rings ever more true in our ears. You have absolutely no impact in a presidential election.

As I said, even in city and state elections, one person’s vote rarely becomes the deciding factor. Why vote, then? If my vote will be of little consequence, why bother spending the time researching the topics, studying the voting records of the candidates, engaging in political debate, and taking the time out of my day in early November to go to the polling station?

Why?

Hyrum Smith, brother to the prophet Joseph Smith, explains why:

We engage in the election the same as in any other principle: you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this it is a sin: to vote for wicked men, it would be sin. Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs. Damn the rod of tyranny; curse it. Let every man use his liberties according to the Constitution. Don’t fear man or devil; electioneer with all people, male and female, and exhort them to do the thing that is right. (Hyrum Smith, via Quoty)

We are to vote to exercise our God-given right to promote justice, liberty, and morality through exhortation and persuasion. We are to vote according to revealed truth, supporting those leaders who will befriend the Constitution. And once we do so…

…we shall have the satisfaction of knowing that we have acted conscientiously, and have used our best judgment. And if we have to throw away our votes, we had better do so upon a worthy rather than an unworthy individual who might make use of the weapon we put in his hand to destroy us. (Joseph Smith, via Quoty)

I consider my vote sacred. It is my tool for taking a stand against evil and promoting truth and virtue. It is my opportunity to witness before man, God, and my posterity that I voted according to principle and upheld like-minded men who are morally pure and defend and abide by the Constitution.

Will my single vote make a difference? I highly doubt that it will. I am not so disillusioned to think that my vote is swaying an issue one way or the other. I vote to take a personal stand for what I think is right. Similarly, John Quincy Adams once said:

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. (John Quincy Adams, via Quoty)

We vote for principle to be able to answer before our Maker that we did our best to support honest and wise men. Such a course of action is our duty, as J. Reuben Clark once said:

Now, I am not caring today, for myself, anything at all about a political party tag. So far as I am concerned, I want to know what the man stands for…When I find out these things, then I know who it is who should receive my support, and I care not what his party tag is…Today, our duty transcends party allegiance; our duty today is allegiance to the Constitution as it was given to us by the Lord. (J. Reuben Clark, via Quoty)

We vote not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. We vote not out of necessity, but out of duty and responsibility. We vote not for the sycophant who offers hollow promises, but for the righteous man who upholds the Constitution, has the voting record to prove it, and stands up against the forces of darkness that use government—both from without and within—to advance their nefarious purposes.

As Hyrum noted, we are to “electioneer with all people”. If we wait until voting day to get involved in the political process, we have shirked our political responsibility until it is everlastingly too late. Voting is far more than showing up at the ballot box on election day. It is incumbent upon us all to be engaged in the process from early on, that we might persuade others, promote and support worthy candidates, and speak out against those not worthy for the office they seek.

Voting without being involved in the political process is like getting baptized without taking the missionary discussions. We must have a knowledge of the decision we are making, and be informed on the various pertinent issues so that we can make an informed, righteous decision. Voting the party line (an insidious practice if ever there was one), voting for the person whose name rings a bell, or any other similar practice is a waste of a vote and an abdication of one’s individual responsibility to seek out and support honest and wise men to be our leaders.

The voting process starts today. It entails study, debate, and discussion. It requires dedication, interest, and commitment.

And then, when you cast your vote to take a moral, personal stand, you will be vindicated in knowing that you have done all in your power to support the right person for the job.

Columnist Bill Vaughn once opined on a truth that at times seems prophetic in nature, as people outsource politics to those who are informed and interested:

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election. (Bill Vaughn, via Quoty)

Why should you vote? Because it is our duty and responsibility—as inheritors of the promised land, children of the Constitution, and citizens of America—to take a stand, speak our mind, and support the cause our Founding Fathers fought to preserve and protect.

It starts today.


Other people’s posts on why you should vote:

4 Responses to “Why You Should Vote”

  1. Kelly Winterton
    April 16, 2007 at 9:16 am #

    I believe it was President Benson that stated just exactly was that “thread” that would hold the Constitution from destruction. He said the final thread was the right of the citizen to vote, and when that right was threatened, our Constitution would be “in the balance” or hanging, as prophecy told us.

    Diebold………..

    We had better be concerned.

  2. April 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm #

    I like the bumper sticker that says, “Which candidate did your voting machine vote for?”

  3. Janet
    April 17, 2007 at 1:33 am #

    Connor, I took up your challenge to blog on why we should vote. You can read it at http://janetwalgren.wordpress.com. I appreciate the challenge and the blogs of those who took you up one it. Thanks to everyone.

  4. November 2, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    You’d be interested in the quote from Samuel Adams regarding voting. “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering, his vote that he is exacting one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God & his country.” Funny thing is that it was put on the Nevada Voter Guide…

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