How many of you recall that September 17 is Constitution Day? Well, it is. On that date in 1787 the majority of the Signers of the Constitution did what gave them the odd type of celebrity they enjoy today. They took pen to paper and signed The Constitution. In today’s divisive political environment they are often called upon to support or refute one argument or another . . . “The Signers meant this” or “The Signers intended that.” Did The Signers believe the document they penned was absolute and final or did they expect it to be revised and interpreted over the years to adapt to changes the passage of time inevitably inflicts on a culture.
These are the current day references to The Signers. I will not use this forum to argue any of these points or the ramifications. Regardless of how one feels on the matters one has to respect and be gracious for the courage and thoughtfulness of The Signers. They broke new ground. They created a new government. They forged a new way of life. The American Way of Life.
In the very first Article of The Constitution the need for elections and the process that gives us the right to vote was laid out. They understood that in a representative democracy the right to vote was so important as to be made a priority. And so we arrive at an upcoming election right here in Van Wert, Ohio. This is not a Presidential election year, but there are issues and candidates that need to be decided on. It is our privilege to vote and it is a responsibility we have to ourselves. It is not to be taken lightly.
Election time, for some, is the only time they are politically active or aware. Perhaps that was also on the minds of The Signers. How could people being productive building a country and a life for themselves have time to pay attention to every little tidbit of legislation and governing? Allowing us to be involved in an election at intervals of a year or two or four gives us the rest of the time to spend in productive ways and on our families.
Here at StateWide Ford Lincoln Mercury and the StateWide Companies we encourage our employees to get involved and take advantage of the right to vote. We don’t force them to vote, but hope they’ll take the time to exercise their rights. The major problem with a representative democracy or a Constitutional democracy is that voter apathy is more common than political interest. Due to this some countries like Australia have adopted compulsory voting in which citizens are required to register and vote in public elections. Those who don’t can be fined $100 or put in prison. That seems a rather harsh punishment to Americans to whom the right to vote implies the right to not vote, as well.
Be courageous. Get involved. Do as The Signers did and make voting a priority this November 2nd.