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Someone else earned it for us

SPRINGVILLE — I watched “The Help” for probably the sixth or seventh time, the other day. One of last year’s standout mainstream movies, this Civil Rights-based story is funny, at times, and poignantly real throughout.

Watching the onscreen characters fight for what was rightfully theirs, I could not help but feel that our nation, as a whole, has grown lackadaisical about rights people literally gave their lives to obtain for us. Not so long ago, I, as a female, would have had to stand aside and watch the white, male demographic head to the polls to decide who our next leaders were going to be.

Fast-forward through many struggles, fights and movements to today, when a trip to the polls is sometimes seen as an inconvenience and – perhaps worse – useless. “It doesn’t matter whether I vote or not,” I was told, the other day. “New York is going to swing the way it always does, no matter what I do.”

Except that our votes do matter. Never mind the “if everybody did” concept, or the fact that we have seen elections come down to the literally one or two vote margin.

Beyond all of that, we owe it to the champions who came before us to exercise the rights they earned for us, with blood, sweat and tears. How can we throw those rights back in their faces with a “thanks, but no thanks” attitude?

Our country has made it so easy for us. Drive a warm car to an enclosed polling location and make a few marks with a pen and you have just contributed to the course of history.

So, why did only about half of the voting population decide they cared to give their input during the last presidential election? Let’s put a stop to those shameful numbers and do the right thing.

Check out the list on page 1 for a list of local polling places and times and exercise your American right to vote.

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