A noted American political philosopher is widely credited for having posited, “The price of freedom is constant vigilance.” Despite passage of more than two centuries, since those highly revered words were given first utterance, they have proven truer than ever in today’s age of instant gratification and holding out illusory promises of gaining something without having to give up or give back anything whatsoever.
Identical effects for very different reasons directly related to voting rights
In a very real sense, eligible citizens who decline to exercise hard won, long-cherished franchise rights functionally equate to loafers and lazy bums who loiter in public places all day long with outstretched grubby palms and bated bad breath waiting to receive anything in return for nothing whatsoever. Such bleak scenarios are likely due to a universal law that has an uncanny way of ensuring output only in equal or greater measure to initial reciprocal input.
Never give up hope
By very similar tokens, many minority-group members that were historically denied equal opportunities to pursue life, liberty and happiness become so frustrated and severely depressed that they lost all hope for a brighter tomorrow. Such unfortunates then simply gave up and surrendered the fight for citizenship rights.
Such tragic sagas are no excuses for letting the past inhibit forward positive progress in present-day America. Indeed, collective checkered pasts of extreme adversity and hardship through no personal fault would seemingly result in the precisely reverse outcome by making survivors who overcame far worse circumstances previously unknown to man more determined to succeed at all costs – including life itself.
After all, highly esteemed civil rights pacifist activist Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King once said that a man who’s unwilling to die for something is unfit to live. By that same token, a hit song by Country Western musician Aaron Tippin advises fans to “stand up for something or they’d fall for anything”.
An excellent means of demonstrating sincere willingness to stand up for something extremely precious and vitally important is stanch refusal to fall for anything less.
Representation is the distinctive hallmark of representative democracies
Perhaps Officialdom’s best kept secret and very true but little known fact is that the U.S. government is not a pure democracy. Instead, America’s central governance system represents a representative democracy (no pun intended). The key distinction between the twin models is reducible to scope of voluntary and mandatory participation.
While pure democracies are based on direct input by every individual stakeholder, representative democracies are run by popular votes cast by We the People to elect candidates with sworn duties to protect our collective best interests and ensure the general welfare by meeting our special needs and desires. Although this may seem to “dilute” positive impact of democratic societies, it actually facilitates order and social equity by decision making based on majority rule of all U.S. citizens.
In fact, if our nation were run as a pure democracy, no positive change or forward progress would even be theoretical possibilities. This is due to the sheer enormity of polling several hundred million people about their personal stance on matters of universally vital import. Such a task could take several years, by which time far-reaching socioeconomic changes would likely lead to 180-degree turnaround in prevailing public opinion. That alarming picture doesn’t even dare include insufficient room in the White House to accommodate hundreds of millions extended stay guests who must abandon hearth and home to provide personal direct input into major public policy decisions.
Parting thoughts about participatory citizenship
For all the reasons outlined above, and many other valid grounds, it is especially vital to give voting rights first-place priority in your daily life. Besides paying tribute to thousands of unsung heroes and heroines who suffered, bled and died in the fight for equal franchise rights, it sets a positive example for future generations of progeny to follow into perpetuity as they become progenies.