Vote based on beliefs

Words matter. Words such as “duty” and “rights” matter more than ever. I am concerned to see these words used frequently in contexts and ways that are incorrect and misleading. Our “rights” are in jeopardy at the hand of government. But what are “rights”?

Do we have a “right” to vote? Is there a “duty” to vote?

Does every citizen have a “right” to drive a car? That privilege comes with qualifications and responsibilities.

A voter should be responsible for becoming informed about issues and candidates. Being informed requires the ability to read English and at least a minimum degree of knowledge about our country’s representative government, its branches of government and the elected leaders. Watching television will not provide this information. “News” is not educational!

Some of my friends decry the system of political parties. If there is a better solution to delineate positions and differences in political philosophy, what is it? Some say they are “independents” and view parties with suspicion. Some unswervingly support one party’s candidates without question, and some vote on a one-issue stance.

Rationally, unemotionally and with as little self-centeredness as possible learn and examine the core beliefs and platforms of the major political parties, and soberly consider which one is the better fit with our own position on the role of government. That is the duty of a good citizen.

Sarah McKibben

North Augusta, S.C.

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