October 4th will be another general election.
It behooves us again look to the Declaration of Independence for guidance in the personal responsibility we bear making sure that this nation, in the words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address "shall not perish."
We read that to secure our unalienable rights "... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..." What does that mean to us?
Simply, we the people give those who represent us their power. In essence we are in charge of the government. We ask, "How is it that that I give power to those who govern?"
The answer is we vote. We must exercise the power guaranteed to us by our founding documents. Voting is not a right or a privilege. Voting is a responsibility for all who live in a republic such as America. Voting must be exercised before it fades away.
The Declaration goes on to say, "... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government ..."
Again we ask, "If I feel the government is destructive of my rights, how do I alter or abolish it?"
The answer is we vote. At times we have difficulty remembering or understanding that altering or abolishing our government does not have to mean bloodshed. We see the ugly things happening in our world and forget the true beauty of America lies in the simple fact that we have a system where we may routinely alter our government in a peaceful, bloodless manner.
We must vote so that we do not perish.
Yet we look at the last borough mayor election in 2008 and see that only 39.45 percent of the registered voters participated.
In school what grade does 39.45 percent give? How can we, the adults in our community, expect our young people to achieve at a high level when we do not model civic responsibility?
As a community, are we willing to tell our young people that a failing grade is good enough for us adults? As a community, is it not our responsibility to show that we take our Constitutional responsibilities seriously?
What can we truly expect from our children if we do not set a responsible example?