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Carol Perkins: Everyone should vote

A Message to All, Especially Women: 'We have to trust that at least one candidate will be good for America,' CAROL PERKINS
Previous column: Carol Perkins: Still shocked by personal attacks

By Carol Perkins

Not registered to vote? Why would any American not register to vote? I was watching a news channel not long ago when a man about my age told a reporter, "I have never voted, but I'm voting this time." Never voted? I was stunned.

Here is what I hear from listening to those who don't vote: "My vote doesn't matter." There have been elections won or lost by one or two votes. "None of them (candidates) are any good." Do we know what for sure? We have to trust that at least one candidate will be good for America. "They're all crooks." Is the word "politician" synonymous with "crook?" I happen to know some very honest people who serve in many political positions. A bad politician, like a bad teacher, doesn't mean the entire system is corrupt. I also hear, "I don't care who wins." We all better care.


When I was in high school one of my teachers brought registration forms to school so every eighteen-year-old could sign up to vote. She never tried to pursue us as to a party affiliation, but insisted we choose one or the other. Many students would never have made the effort if not for her insistence. Today, she would have been fired for doing such a thing. Back in those days, however, we studied government through citizenship classes, and the next step was to register to vote. She provided a service.

Voting is a right that none of us should take lightly, but especially women because of the long, and sometimes violent, struggle ladies endured to fight for this right. Women like Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone were arrested and beaten when they tried to vote. When a judge ordered Ms. Anthony to pay a fine of $100, which was a fortune back then, but she refused. Women's rights did not begin with Gloria Steinem.

Thanks to the hundreds of strong women who battled against the establishment (Suffragettes) by 1920 women had the right to vote (19th Amendment), so we should not take this privilege lightly. Young girls today might ask what the big deal was? Why couldn't women vote? The big deal was that men thought of women as property and as being too "soft" and "weak minded" to make a rational decision about politics. Someone famous once said that women voted indirectly; they told their husbands how to vote. Thank goodness she can vote for herself! Does any man think this way today? They are not going to open their mouths if they do!

I am enjoying the process of selecting our next president and have not missed a debate or many of the town hall meetings (on TV). There isn't a person in the group who can walk on water, but we should listen and decipher for ourselves as to the choice we think is the best, and then get behind that candidate. That is what is special about democracy and why other countries without one wish they could live in America. - Carol Perkins


This story was posted on 2016-02-25 04:55:04
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