Editor’s note: This article written by Amy Rees Anderson originally appeared on Forbes.com and is being reprinted with her permission.
As we are all aware, Tuesday is Election Day. Despite the importance of this day, it is often easy to throw it by the wayside and think, “Argghhh! I really don’t want to wait in those voting lines,” or “My one vote probably won’t make any difference,” or “I know that my candidate has enough votes in my area, so I don’t really need to bother.” I’ll be the first to admit that I too have been guilty of those momentary lapses in judgment, where I had to immediately remind myself of how incredibly lucky I am just to have the right to vote, and how many people have fought and died for me to be able to enjoy that freedom.
Remembering that helps to snap me back into the right frame of mind instantly and to focus on the fact that not only should I feel absolute gratitude that I get to vote; I should cherish it. We should all jump at the privilege of being able to vote for whomever we believe will be the best leader for our great nation.
Anyone who fails to cast their vote in an election is forgetting that this is their opportunity to protect our freedom. Here in the United States we are so blessed with so many freedoms that it becomes almost easy to take it for granted. The importance of this right becomes abundantly clear when you travel to other countries where those freedoms don’t exist. It is at those moments when you are suddenly hit with the reality that freedom is an unbelievable blessing.
The price of our freedom has been far too high for any of us to ever take it for granted, and the consequence of non-participation in our right to vote is far too great for any of us to ignore.
“Bad Officials are Elected By Good Citizens Who Do Not Vote” — George Jean Nathan
In casting our vote, we have the unique opportunity to exercise power in the endeavor to elect the best man or woman to serve the people. Remember that our system of government will only be as good as the men and women we elect to run it.
“… if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.” — Noah Webster
It is critical to vote for leaders that will lead our country in the right direction. We need to elect leaders who are trustworthy; leaders with unfailing integrity; leaders who will do the right thing in every situation; and leaders who will uphold our constitution and all that our founding fathers fought so bravely to create.
There has been much talk of religion with this current election. Many have questioned if religious principles matter in politics. I came across a quote from George Washington, our first president of the United States, which he gave in his farewell address to the American people, in which he states:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.
“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle.
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” [See “George Washington: Farewell Address,” in William Benton, pub., The Annals of America, 21 vols. (1968–87), 3:612.]
I absolutely agree that we need leaders with good religious principles. It is not a leader’s specific religion that should matter, rather it is the religious principles that a leader chooses to uphold that we should care about. I hope that when all the votes are cast we find ourselves with a leader who is good and moral, with integrity and strength of character to lead our great country forward. God bless each of us in this important decision.
Amy Rees Anderson is the founder and managing partner of REES Capital, a mentoring and angel investing firm. Contact her at email@example.com or follow her daily blog at www.amyreesanderson.com/blog