Less than 10%. That is how many people voted yesterday in Cass County. Less than 10% of the registered voters took time to invoke that precious privilege. That just makes me sad and angry at the same time. Angry because less than 10% of the population is making the decisions by which we all have to live and sad that millions of service men and women have sacrificed their lives to protect that privilege that so few take seriously. Many shrugged off yesterday’s election saying it wasn’t a ‘major election.’ We were voting on people and issues that most affect our daily lives – our local government.
Have we become that complacent as a society that our basic freedoms don’t deserve 10 or 15 minutes out of our day to preserve? In countries in Africa and the Middle East people who choose to vote often have to wait hours in line to do so. HOURS! And not in some nice air conditioned church or bank, but outside in the hot sun. Some voters in those countries even risk bodily harm or even death in order to participate in voting. The longest I’ve ever had to wait to vote was 30 minutes and the most harm that has ever come to me is a paper cut from the ballot! Both a very small price to pay for being able to participate in my government.
Most people understand that if you don’t use a muscle it weakens. The same is true of your liberties. If you don’t exercise them, they will be taken from you. Maybe not ripped away all at once, but just a little here and a little there. But to just sit back and give them away because you don’t care? I just have to wonder if the service and sacrifice that has gone into creating and maintaining those liberties was really worth it.
My daddy always said that those who aren’t willing to help solve a problem have no right to gripe about the problem. That applies to government as well. If you can’t get involved by running for an office, the least you can do is participate in putting people in place who closest represent your views and beliefs. In Raymore, the two significant issues are the Civic Center and the round-about. Lots of people in Raymore like to complain about those two things and the cost involved, but only 1,200 people voted yesterday in Raymore. If you were one of those 1,200, thank you! If not then maybe you should take my daddy’s advice. He’s a pretty smart guy.