Thursday, November 23, 2017

Making the wrong kind of history

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, the wrong kind of primary election history was made here in Clark County. The voter turnout of 15.8 percent, the second-lowest ever. Only the primary election of 2008, where only 14.8 percent of the eligible voters bothered to go to the polls.

If you are like me, you have heard too many times to remember, friends saying to you, “My vote doesn’t count, right?”

Well, please allow me to cite just three examples if one vote was not cast, how markedly different the history of the United States would be.

In 1776, one vote cast by Delaware delegate Caesar Rodney, who was suffering from a terminal disease, yet rode 90 miles by horseback to cast his vote, changed America’s destiny. His vote assured that the fight for America’s independence would be waged against England.

In 1919, one vote in the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to amend the Constitution to state that voting rights should not be withheld on the basis of sex. This led to the passage of the XIX Amendment.

If one vote per precinct in Ohio and California had been cast differently, Harry Truman would not have been elected to a full term as President in 1948. And we all know what his election meant to us, right? Oh, you don’t know about Executive Order 9981. Well my folks, this action by “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry ordered the full integration of the Armed Forces.

Let me be brutally honest with “my people,” and in the process, I hope to make you mad enough to do something about it. The very reason we are overrepresented in the permanent underclass in America is that too many of us don’t vote or take full advantage of our right to a free public education.

So, poor folks, unless you are willing to do what is minimally necessary to improve your lot in life — like voting in all primary, special, and general elections — then the conditions you face in life will likely change about the same time that Hell freezes over.

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