A Message Worth Reading
Some of you may have already cast your ballots, as I have, and others of you may be planning to do so tomorrow. And for those who are still thinking about whether to vote . . . PLEASE VOTE. Why am I writing this? I worry that we forget too quickly that people protested, marched, were arrested, and even died for the right to vote.
November 7, 2022
Some of you may have already cast your ballots, as I have, and others of you may be planning to do so tomorrow. And for those who are still thinking about whether to vote . . . PLEASE VOTE.
Why am I writing this? I worry that we forget too quickly that people protested, marched, were arrested, and even died for the right to vote. For Black Americans, it took not just the 15th Amendment but also the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Years and years of sacrifice to be heard. For Women, a similar path . . . until the 19th Amendment was passed. Why is the right to vote so important?
Elections Have Consequences
Let’s begin with the fact that elections have consequences. Thomas Jefferson said, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” If someone told you that they would decide an issue that was important to you for you, you would complain. But by not voting, that’s what’s is happening . . . others are determining your future without your input . . . and the issues are more important than ever.
Rights Need to be Exercised and Democracy Needs to be Protected
If you exercise and then you stop for a while, your muscles atrophy. They get weaker. I believe the same is true with Democracy and its core activity, voting. Ronald Reagan, before he was President, gave a little-known speech that identified our challenge today. He said “Perhaps you and I have lived too long with this miracle to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
Your Chance to be an Action Figure
This is your chance to make a difference. Remember the days when people said, ‘my vote doesn’t count’ or ‘what difference would it make’? Today, we understand, more than ever before, how close these races can be. National elections for the House of Representatives, for the Senate, and even for President, can swing by hundreds of votes in some cases. We know that the amazing people who make up Transcarent are going to change the world of health and care, but what if I told you that less than 250 votes might swing a House or Senate race? Crazy, but in some cases true. There was a six (yes 6) vote margin of victory in an Iowa House race (Rep. Miller-Meeks) in 2020!
So, take action, exercise your rights, take charge and go vote . . . and for those of you with children, remember, they’re watching. Explain what you are doing and why. What an amazing opportunity to teach them how Democracy works.
When you are voting, I ask only two favors: First, respect others and respect the process that has worked in this country for more than 200 years.
Second, you should decide what’s most important to you and not be swayed by extraneous advertising or outside pressure. Learn the facts – there is no such thing as “alternative facts”. Do what you think is best for your country and for your family. Think not just short-term but long term. And, if you are frustrated or even disgusted with the process, understand that we’re far from perfect, but it’s still the best process in the world, and participate. That’s the best way to make change happen for the better.
And, on a lighter note, remember what George Carlin, the famous comedian said: “If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.”
Let your manager know if you need time off so you can vote. It’s important to us that you don’t have any impediments to do so.
(If you are interested, some fun history is included below)
Ever wonder why we vote on a Tuesday? Initially, election days varied by state, but in 1845 a law was passed to set a universal election day for the entire country for federal elections (President, then later Congress.) The history of why we vote in federal elections on the first Tuesday after November 1st (Election Day can’t be November 1st) dates back to when much of our nation was still driven by the agrarian calendar. Back then, most citizens worked as farmers and/or lived far away from their polling place. People often traveled at least a day to vote. Weekends were reserved for religious observances and Wednesday was market day for farmers. Thus, Tuesday was selected as the first and most convenient day of the week to vote.
Or why November? To avoid planting seasons, Spring and early summer elections weren’t an option and late summer and early fall elections overlapped with the harvest. That left the late fall month of November—after the harvest was complete, but before the arrival of harsh winter . . . and those of us in Chicago certainly know what winter means.
Now you know. Share in the fun. VOTE!