How Should You Vote

Voting – Not just a Right but a Responsibility


As we once again draw close to the election season and the constant barrage of media election analysis, let us be vigilant and educated about the choices we make and the votes we cast. Our right to vote is a huge responsibility and one that perhaps we take far too lightly. We like the way a guy looks or talks so we decide to vote for him, but then we fail to really listen to his words. The proposals all sound like great ideas but we do we understand the long range ramifications of these proposals? Do we comprehend both the pros and cons of each debate? Do their words really matter?

What do we know about our rights? Do you feel as though you understand your rights and are knowledgeable about them? Perhaps the better question would be - are you satisfied with the way that Congress and the government treat your rights?

When we are told to just pass a bill so we can finally find out what is in the bill, do you feel as though you were just told that you aren’t smart enough to understand the bill, or important enough for your opinion to count? Does that make you feel that perhaps you are considered less than worthy of their notice?

Not knowing how any one else would answer these questions or how partisan you, as a citizen, feel about it all, I question our methods of voting. I am, however, certain that many Americans are concerned about preserving the integrity of our Constitution and our individual rights as spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

We have Congressmen, on the record, stating that they don’t pay much attention to the Constitution anymore. Really? Didn’t they swear in their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution above all else? Did I miss something that let them off the hook?


The Patriot Act - Who really Cares and Why?


Bitter complaints were all the rage during the last administration, when President Bush passed the Patriot Act. Yet, those complaints seemed to vanish as President Obama took office and not only continued the practice but actually strengthened the Patriot Act, giving himself even more power to act from the White House, bypassing Congress and the issue of separation of powers. So, are we really concerned with the actual violations of our rights or is it just that we are concerned over who is infringing on them?

Another example would be the hiring of what has now been termed czars and the presidential or executive orders. Within our Constitution is built an avenue for such actions, falling under the jurisdiction of Congress, to oversee and approve. By the president using these executive privileges, he bypasses the oversight of Congress.

Under former President Bush, Congress and those who opposed his administration, vehemently complained and protested his hiring of czars and his edicts made by executive order. Yet, while those same objections are obviously relevant in this administration, the dissenters are unusually quiet. So again I ask, is it the policy that we oppose or is it the one who uses the policy that we oppose?


Why Amend the Constitution?


When our Constitution was written, the character of the men leading our country was often questioned, much like it is now. The words they spoke and the writings that they published meant something to all of the people and so, had to encompass a fair measure to everyone. There was no thought of favoring one group of individuals over another. All men were created free and equal.

While the emphasis was on property ownership and the rights given accordingly, the premise held true for all. Without a long discussion about it, I grant that not all men were considered equal. Corrections were later made to incorporate all men and women.

In their quandary over the wording of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, our Founding Fathers saw the potential for corruption, perhaps more clearly than we see it now. What we accept as status quo, they would be appalled at. Pork barrel spending, entitlements, lobbyists and strong federal control were concepts that they not only warned us about but fought as well.

Balancing the influence of the wealthy and the needs of the poor are nothing new. Americans in the late 1700’s faced the same issues that we face today. It was their concern for the average citizen that tempered all of their decisions, giving the voice of authority to the people and not the government.

It has taken many years, but that voice is not nearly as authoritative as it once was. We, as a people, have allowed our voices to fade, which in turn, has allowed the government to expand.

While there are some Americans who favor the idea of a strong central government; it was not the intention of our founders to allow or to sanction such expansion.

Almost every amendment made to the Constitution was needed to protect man against man, whether it was intended for the man in government against the man on the street or the powerful man of business against the individual. The innate corruption of man has dictated that we continually change our laws.

The influence of the wealthy and powerful to manipulate votes still hasn’t been addressed. As they say, money doesn’t buy happiness; but it sure buys elections. With the moral decline that we face everyday, the influence peddling proves that the need for regulations will remain strong. Thus a certain amount of federal control is needed.

The Free Press is Dead


Where does the average citizen fit into this? How do we lift our voices so that once again the will of the people carries real authority? The only answer is by voting intelligently. Know what you are voting for. Know who you are voting for. In years past, the press dug for information about the candidates and every bill up for a vote.

They excelled at exposing the dirty little secrets of each one of the candidates. They presented both sides of every argument. The job they did was considered so important that they were dubbed the Fourth Estate. They carried a tremendous burden to shine a light on the hidden secret agendas of those we placed our trust in.

But as we have seen, in recent years, the bias of the press has taken root. When a story that is important isn’t told because it might hurt the image of the guy they want to win, when an average citizen is taken to task and humiliated by the press just for asking an unpopular question, or when the negative impact of a bill isn’t presented because the press wants the bill passed for their own advantage, we know with a certainty that a fair and free press is dead.


You Have to Think Before you Vote


So, it is up to you and me to discover the answers to the questions we have about each candidate and each proposal. This is not only your right to choose; it is your responsibility. That’s how it works. With information freely offered on the internet, it becomes your job to seek the education you need to make intelligent choices.

We risk too much by voting for the guy who looks good on TV or the guy who smooth talks us into voting for him. We need more than sound bites. We need real character. We need to know that our rights are important to those who seek to govern. America needs each one of us to understand the importance of an educated choice, and an intelligent vote.


Starting with the Founders throughout our history we have always known what the Constitution means to the American people.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
-- Patrick Henry

"The strength of the Constitution lies in the will of the people to defend it."
-- Thomas Edison

"The government was set to protect man from criminals -- and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government. The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government -- as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social power."
-- Ayn Rand

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
-- Daniel Webster

Comments 62 comments

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

I really like this and it is a very important write. I hope many people read this one. Great hub.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you Bobbi, I hope so too. And I thank you for your comment.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

You are right on Joni. Too many people are constantly stating "Throw the bums out" but sit on their hands and do nothing. Most people could not vote when the Constitution was first passed. Now we all can and only half do and that's during the best of conditions. Apathy reigns. Great Hub. Everybody get out and learn the issues and how the candidates stand on them. Then get out and vote.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

We have to do more than complain. Thanks HSchneider for your comments; they are really appreciated.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee

voted up & beautiful! So, so true. Very well written with a concerned heart. May we all return God to His rightful place in our hearts and our government...


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Totally agree samsons1. Thank you for the vote up and for such a great comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My vote goes to whoever most closely supports the constitution.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Exactly dahoglund. You got it, it takes paying attention to know who that candidate is. Thanks so much for your comments.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

If someone does not educate themselves regarding the candidates and issues and chooses not to vote, in my opinion I think that they have no right to complain about the results. You have touched on many issues here and all good ones. Personally I can't wait for the upcoming elections to cast my vote!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Me too Peggy. We should know who and what we vote for. Thank you stopping by and commenting.

Remember in November!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

Our two political systems have become tyrannical not listening to the wishes of the people. This cannot stand if the future of our Republic is to continue! Great hub!


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Well said,Joni. You state it plain enough that even I can get it. It is always sad to read of poor voter turn out.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

nifty@50, you are so right. Our voices must be heard and that starts with the elections this fall. Thank you for your kind words.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

bayoulady, thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments. I sure am hoping for record crowds at the polls next month..... we will see.


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Well said! Think. Know the constitution. I'm glad, too, that with the Internet we don't have to rely only on the "free" press anymore and can read such hubs. :) Will Tweet this to try and add my bit to its circulation.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks Ms Dee. Greatly appreciate any added support. Your comments are most welcome.


Tim_511 profile image

Tim_511 6 years ago from Huntington, WV

Good hub! I will not support anyone who, when they promise to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States", have no intention of doing so.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks Tim, that should be a guideline for all of us. We have accepted politicians lies for so long now and it just needs to stop. Tell the truth, tell us who you are and what you stand for. Then let the voter decide.

Remember in November!


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

There is so much politics one both sides. I believe once self interests are put aside, maybe the right thing can be done for this country for all its people.

The constitution is not infallible. It is a body of laws put together by men, not God. Even the forefathers made amendments to the constitution, when changes were needed.

I will definitely be voting!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

VOTE!! Great post!


VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA 6 years ago from India.

We should not think too much on how to vote. Even if we vote correctly, circumstances will make the rulers turn tyrants. Did Mr.George Bush expect the twin towers to be destroyed? He just planned to finish his father's agenda in Iraq. But events turned like that...

Just by voting, we should not expect too much from the rulers. Everyone dreams of coming to power with their own agenda. We cannot turn them upside down as we like.

Have we heard any contesting candidate declare "whatever you say, I will do"?


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Remember in November!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

2besure, I agree, but I do tend to think that the Constitution was inspired and that the intent of the freedoms spelled out in that document should not be messed with. When out leaders serve purposes other than the welfare of ALL the people, corruption is bound to occur. So the need to look at candidates who at least consider the Constitution valid and appropriate is important. Thanks so much for adding your insight.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks carolina muscle.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA, I disagree. We need to really think about how we cast our vote. It is too important to just vote without studying the candidate or the issues. That is how we ended up with leaders like we have now.

And I disagree with you about how much we should expect from our elected officials. I truly believe that when they are in office too long, they forget that it is US that they work for.

As a representative republic, our leaders represent us and our districts. When they start voting on policies that help themselves or an agenda over the wishes and welfare of their district, it is certainly time for them to go.

I appreciate the fact that you stopped by and added your thoughts here even though I do not agree.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Absolutely sheila b.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Joni Douglas

LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE?

Check this one out.

A call to action on Wed.10/5/10 to all hubbers looking for the truth.

Mr. Goosly explained President Barak Obama's position on the George W. Bush

tax cuts on foxnews.com on the Glen Beck's show.

A program worth NOT MISSING about the TAX debate.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

HUBBERS

THE LINK IS

video.foxnews.com/v/4359620/beck-taxing-times

An interesting clarification of the bush tax cuts.Now you see it, now you don't.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Joni great job on the hub here. I don't even trust the press for the weather report anymore. John Stossel did a live poll and while alot of people recognized a guy from that " Jersey Shore " show they could not even recognize a picture of Joe Biden. That is our new voting public. November is so important , and if the Dems retain power we are sunk !


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Great points, Joni! Each of us has a responsibility as citizens to get to the facts as best we can and to protect those basic rights were granted under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. When I find out that I am going to be taxed on my home sale at 3.8% through a law that was passed by embedding it in a healthcare bill that no one seems to have read or made available for the public to read, I am apalled and I am quite sure that I currently do not have anyone in Washington who is watching out for my welfare. Taxes are one thing, theft is another! WB


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hello Jon, Yes, I agree about the Bush Taxes. Simply by using their word salads, they can make anything seem like a good deal to the kool-aid drinkers. That is why it is so important for all of us to stay informed and to stay on top of our own elected officials. If they work for us then we should be considered supervisors. That's how it works. We need to supervise more, critique more and demand more from our workers.

Thanks for the comments and I saw that clip. The facts are out there, just like he says.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hi Tony,

I saw that too. Amazing isn't it? That's who voted this admin in too. I remember the videos playing after the election and more than half of the voters did not know anyone involved in the election except their chosen one. As for the press? It is downright shameful. Used to be that we could count on them for truth and some balance, but those days are long gone.

So glad you stopped by and added your thoughts.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks Wayne.

That is my whole point. Voting isn't just a right but a solemn responsibility, not to be taken lightly. When our leaders don't think enough of the document that they have sworn an oath to protect, we have a serious problem.

As for that home sales tax? I checked into that after I received an email about it. It only affects the sales of very high dollar homes, not for the ordinary citizen. That doesn't make it right, mind you, but it does need clarifying.

I sure appreciate that you stopped by and left such a great comment.


VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA 6 years ago from India.

Thanks to Mr.Joni for posting this topic.

My comments always are based on practical things only.

I think everyone attains power after a great struggle. We cannot expect them to do what we like and what we dont like. Former British Premier Harold Wilson used to say that he dreamed of becoming Premier since his school days and photographed himself in front of 10, Downing Street. Will such a man bend to others' wishes if they differ?

Those in power are not snakes and we are not charmers. Neither they are monkeys nor we are performers.

Instead of analysing individual characters, we should analyse the policy and principles of the party to which he belongs. If a candidate is very sincere and humble, he may be from a party with anti-national ideologies.

In my India, one party (BJP) is highly patriotic and goes alongwith the majority peoples' views. But they are bent on compelling the non-Hindi people to learn Hindi; the leaders are all high-caste Hindus only, who cannot interact freely with 99% of the common people. The other major party, Congress is headed by an Italian born woman. Their "secular" policies helps all terrorist people with foreign-based ideologies.

How can a common Indian vote?


jjmyles profile image

jjmyles 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Excellent hub!It is our responsibility to educate ourselves, as your article states, and to cast our vote responsibly.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA, I must admit that I know very little about the politics in India.

As for voting for a candidate by party? That doesn't always work either as some in the Republican are RINOS - Republican in Name Only. It is imperative that we consider as many apsects of a candidate as we can.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks jjmyles, so glad you stopped by and left such a nice comment.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Joni Douglas

Just 25 days more.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

. . . . and counting . . . . . Thanks Jon.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

An excellent article! I enjoyed reading your ideas and I totally agree with you.


dealrocker profile image

dealrocker 6 years ago from California

Nice write up! Liked your ideas!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Welcome James. Thanks for stopping and I'll accept your compliments anytime.

I am reminded of the Forrest Gump line....Stupid is as stupid does. If we vote stupid, we shouldn't be surprised at the stupidity we voted in.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you dealrocker, fortunately for America, they aren't just my ideas. Seems like common sense is on the upswing again.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

This is one hard election. I'm still scratching my head over exactly who to vote for. Thanks for the helpful voting insights. Peace and Love :)


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hello, Katiem2, this is certainly shaping up to be an important midterm that's for sure. Thanks for stopping by and adding your comments.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

HUBBERS

THE GOVERNMENT under the leadership of President Barak Obama and the majority Democrat congress have taken control of 60% of the economy. If you like what they have accomplished, vote them into office. Stop and think about it.

The constitution is under attack including enforcing the laws of the country, sorry to say. The president represents all the people of our nation, provides leadership to both parties.

On the campaign trail President Obama blames the Republicans for the recession and the previous administration. In today’s speech President Obama said ‘’GOP can come along for the ride but must sit in the back’’ and ‘’Republicans drove the economy in the ditch ‘’.

When Bark Obama ran for office he promised to bring change to Washington, unite the parties, rid Washington of the lobbyist and fix the economy in addition to getting the jobs back. He and Congress has failed the American people. Obama wants the people to vote for his party, the record of Obama and the majority Democrat congress has failed the middle class private sector.

Putting the people ( Republicans ) in the back of the bus sounds like a civil rights story. The facts are that the Democrats since 2007 have put the Republicans in the back of the bus. To not accept responsibility for the past 4 years , Obama and the Democrats don’t deserve our votes.

Vote on nov 2nd to clean up Congress.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Absolutely!!

Thanks Jon.

Obama talks about the D for drive and R for reverse, but geesh, he is headed entirely in the wrong direction. Why would we want to let him continue to drive if we can't trust his driving?


American_Choices profile image

American_Choices 6 years ago from USA

With voting season here in a couple of weeks - we all needed that. Our voices and our vote do count! Our forefather fought for this right, females "won" the right in 1920. We need to be heard.

Excellent Hub!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks American_Choices. You are so right. We all need to make our voices heard and we can do that by voting. It is our right, our privilege and our responsibility. Thank you for reading and for your comments.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting read and an eye opener for me - I hope American Citizens take this Hub seriously. Everyone needs to think deeply before they vote. In fact I should too, for when we have the next elections in UK.

Best Wishes.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks Lady_E. I hope they do too. I feel it is important and worth the extra effort to know and understand just who and what I am voting for. Thank you for stopping by and I sure appreciate your comments.


noturningback profile image

noturningback 6 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

It is all so important to research the candidate or bill that is to be voted on. I have spoken to co-workers, and family in regards to voting, and the sentiment seems to be "why bother", this really is a bothersome attitude to me, yet i can understand their frustration. It seems when we vote for something, or someone their actions usually-in politics-is in conflict with their previously spoken word.

I believe that in the future all politicians should be made to sign a contract, and we the people should act as the shareholder's board. We as the people I believe must have more of a voice even after electing our officials.

That should be an ammendment to the constitution above all others, too many times when the public has an outcry it is dismissed by our public officials, with them citing they know what is best. Only God knows what is best, and since He has allowed these men,women, and bills to be voted into office or made into law, I am sure there is good reason. But he also gave us a voice, and I intend to use mine.

Thanks for the hub.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Absolutely noturningback. I have thought of the contract idea too. I don't understand why we can't hold politicians responsible for the words they say, the promises they keep and most importantly, the positions that they ran on. Thank you for adding your great comments to this hub.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice and interesting points you actually shared in here.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

Thank you Sun-Girl.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 5 years ago

Joni

The root cause of the condition of the country is a Congress that doesn't work for the people. They work for their party, and the parties don't work together.

The loyal party voter enables this condition to exist from Congress to Congress, regardless of which party is in control.

Congress needs to be trained, but the voters have to do it. Most of them are sheep, and the party's are good at running sheep.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

So true Opinion Duck. Congress may work for the party but I believe most of them work for themselves first and foremost. Either way, the interests of the people do not appear to be their priority. Thanks for your comments.


mystere profile image

mystere 5 years ago from Southern California

Hi Joni! It's been quite a while since I've been on Hub Pages...2012 will be quite a change in November. A friend of mine who is autistic had a dream about the 2012 elections: he saw Mitt Romney win over 0bama. However, 0bama set up the Middle East, where Afghanistan engages in a bloody battle which costs Romney to lose to...of all people...Barack 0bama again! 0bama then uses a loophole in the term limits rule, saying that he didn't serve his 2nd term as a consecutive term, and runs in 2020 for a third term...however, he suffers a big defeat and tragedy in his family when al qaeda attacks the USA again before the elections.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

Yikes Mystere, that isn't just a dream, that is a nightmare. Let us hope and pray that it isn't a prophetic one. Change is needed in 2012. Thanks for stopping by.


mystere profile image

mystere 5 years ago from Southern California

Joni, sad thing is this: it is prophetic. The things he told me that I didn't mention here are happening now. the one to beat 0bama in 2020 when he uses a loophole about consecutive terms is Governor Sam Brownback. My friend told me last year that he was wondering why in his dream, the newscaster in his dream referred to Brownback as Governor Brownback instead of Senator. When he won the Kansas Governor race, it explained it to him. Then he had the follow up dream, when God said to him "Did I say it was in 2012?" God showed him a vision of Mitt Romney winning, then losing in 2016 when a bloody war in Afghanistan causes Romney to lose to Obama. We're not done with 0bama yet. Another prophet appeared on Sid Roth's show "It's Supernatural", and said we will be like a third world country around 2016...look at who is fit for causing that. Hang on tight Joni! We're in for a ride like Jacob was, when his sons sent Joseph to Egypt through a slave trade.


magodis profile image

magodis 5 years ago from Colombo, Sri Lanka

I hate politics but still it is our right and responsibility. Yes we should vote!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

It sure is magodis, thanks for reminding us all again.

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