Recently, a group for whom I volunteer launched a Get Out The Vote project. They asked people to send pictures to social media with hashtags telling why I vote. A picture with a piece of paper or sign, however, can’t fully convey my answer. I respect the work that the group, Concerned Veterans for America, does, so, I’ll do what they ask while expanding a bit. I cast my first vote in 1972 and I haven’t missed an election since, whether mid-term or Presidential election. I make sure to vote in every primary election because that is my opportunity to choose the candidates in the general election. Basically, voting is one way for me to make my voice heard. Sometimes it’s heard and other times, it’s not. That’s democracy in action!

On a day in Philadelphia in 1787, after the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what sort of government they had given the new country of the United States of America. Mr. Franklin quickly answered, “A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.”  We have maintained that Republic over 227 years, although, it has been under assault the last few decades. The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitutional Republic which helped the country through western expansion, piracy on the high seas, a Civil War threatening to tear us apart, and two world wars that menaced Europe.

Slowly, after the Second World War, we began trading bits of our freedoms for supposed security. A country built around capitalism slowly finds that regulated and restricted. Our Constitution so valiantly fought for is now circumvented because it doesn’t easily allow for more government control of citizens. We look around today and see the bankruptcy of Detroit, the massive, crippling municipal debt of Chicago. Many other cities in California wait in the wings for their days in bankruptcy court. All cities want a bail-out from the federal government, but that entity has racked up a huge debt of almost $18,000,000,000,000 (18 trillion). The policies that have caused the collapse of our cities are now ensconced in the government at the federal level.

Why do I vote? I vote because I’m one of the 70% who doesn’t like the direction our country is going. I want to see the rebuilding of the middle class, because that’s how you get the poorer people out of poverty. I want a return of the military to the strength that brought peace around the world. I want to bring back the respect for the US Constitution and demand that its rule of law be honored by those in Washington DC.

I could go on, but my answer to Benjamin Franklin would be that I love my country, my Republic and I am working to keep it. That’s why I vote!