Marc Ash: Honest Election
By Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 02 November 2004
We stand at a crossroads for our nation. At issue is the fabric of American life. There is a perception that choosing the right leader is the most important thing. Surely that will matter, but even more crucial is our commitment to American values.
If you are thinking about voting twice, don't do it. If you are thinking of putting fear in the heart of your neighbor as he goes to cast his vote, think again. How we conduct this election will have more to do with the safety and security of our nation than who wins.
We have throughout our history held our free elections as a pillar of our democracy. Remove that pillar and you undermine all that is freedom. Even if this election is conducted fairly, the result will be disappointment for some. That is as it should be. The pain of that disappointment pales in comparison to the price we will pay should we fail to protect the integrity of the process itself.
When the Founders had concluded their work on the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin walked outside and seated himself on a public bench. A woman approached him and inquired, "Well, Dr. Franklin, what have you done for us?" Franklin quickly responded, "My dear lady, we have given to you a republic - if you can keep it." A quiet debate is being waged in the shadows of the country, once again, as to whether America is a republic or a democracy. It will be neither, if we fail to protect our right to vote.
Help your neighbor vote. Not just the one who agrees with you but the one who differs. Why? Because when this is over, that's the one you're really going to need the most.
Good luck to us.