Presidential Election 2016, Your Power of Choice --By Rolf Kotar

Submitted by Jose Torres-Vega on October 9, 2016 - 7:40pm


In voting for the next president of our country, is the real issue at hand whether or not we vote for a particular candidate? Is loyalty to a political party of overriding importance? Or is the power we Americans wield to select a president the pivotal issue? This issue stands out as we Americans are proud. Clearly, exercising our right and freedom to choose America's next chief executive officer begins years previous to opening the polls. Grassroots organizing is completed long before the primary elections. A lifetime of learning, accomplishments, and even material success must develop as they gather supporters. Sometimes a presidential candidate spends many years in public service before running for president. Most Americans no doubt think of one who becomes president as being at the highest point of their career. I wonder if this is always true.


Many people travel from other lands with democracy to partake of our abundance and freedom, thinking America superior. Many British think America is better than their previous homeland. Some people from a variety of countries choose to give up their citizenship to become Americans. Our country remains the "safety net" for the world's disenfranchised and disadvantaged. However, not all immigrating to our country are "poor, tired and hungry." Many immigrants are more familiar with American history and our revered documents, e.g., the United States Constitution than we (other immigrants) living here for generations. Frankly, I've found myself embarrassed at my ignorance.

In being registered to vote in all public elections, we "own our power to change our piece of the planet." Conversely, not exercising the fundamental right to vote for any reason is simply not acknowledging one of, if not the biggest, privileges of American citizenship. A person being punished for a heinous act and being convicted of a felonious crime is stripped of their voting privileges for a period of years. Does not forfeiting a great honor by committing a felony show what a privilege and ability to effect change that transforms our culture (by voting) demonstrate who we are as a people? I know I live in the finest country in the world!

Please explore your desires and choose a level of involvement in our political process. While a voter is the most important cog in a political wheel, other options may be added to increase the difference one makes. Working with neighbors as a volunteer in a storefront type office, no matter what party one is affiliated with, can help elect your candidate of choice. The simplest (and perhaps the most difficult) task is to work a telephone, randomly dialing to support a candidate. Also, phone workers help to encourage voters to go to the polls. One may staff a polling place for an hourly wage. Finally, town hall meetings are frequently held with candidates for offices at the lower levels of government. These leaders facilitate, preside at the meetings and may support other candidates.


In sum, not voting isn’t an option for us at the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition. It's openly stating, I don't count. Use your power. It's likely you'll thank yourself many times by exercising it.

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