Today is voting day.

Today is the day you inherited when Adam and Eve fled the Garden of Eden.

They provided a kaleidoscope world of conflicting and cooperating ideas. It’s supposed to be that way so you have a choice. In the next 12 hours, give or take a few, you get a tiny sample of what your first parents faced in the Garden. Don’t miss out on that chance.

Today is the day you get to be a General.

You are going to issue marching orders when you elect the people and philosophies to run your city for the next four years. Be sure you pick those who believe what you believe. If you like rules and need a lot of guidance, pick someone who will think for you. If you want limited government, pass up the guy who wants to load you with more rules or the one who applauds a status quo you don’t like, and go for the one who offers you self-direction.

Today is the day you shoulder weapons at Trenton, Gettsyburg, and Normandy.

Millions of men and women died to give you what you have today—the right to vote. Thousands in the Revolutionary War and millions in the Civil War died for a future Constitution, a united country, an end to tyranny, and universal access to a ballot in the ballot box. Wars still scar the national landscape, manned by those with everything to live for who gave everything to die for your freedom. If you don’t vote, you waste their gift and maybe their lives. Ask a military veteran—he or she can tell you about the sacrifice. You can bet they vote.

Today is the day you act like an American.

Ask yourself: why are you here if you don’t vote? You cast the vote to get the freedoms. Should you expect the rights, if you don’t perform the duties? Isn’t that entitlement of the deepest kind, to take the bennies but refuse the effort?

Today is the day your enemies want to deny you. There are many who wish you would not vote, especially if you believe in inalienable rights, moral values, limited government, and freedom of choice. If you stay away from the polls today you will make them very happy.

Please don’t say you don’t have time. Of course you do. “The supply of time, though gloriously regular, is cruelly restricted. We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.”

Please don’t say you forgot. Everybody knows how to write a reminder note. Try it with black marker on colored paper attached to a clipboard plopped in the middle of the kitchen floor, if you have to.

Please don’t say it’s too much effort. It won’t ever be any easier. Reread “act like an American”, above.

Please don’t say you don’t know who to vote for. (Did you forget to vet the candidates?) Re-reread, “act like an American”, above. Do your very best today and commit to pay more attention next time. Please don’t vote for the person whose name jumps off the ballot at you because he or she put up the most roadside signs. That’s how money buys elections. Don’t stay home. Start a new habit today: promise yourself you will always, always exercise the basic right Americans live and die for and cast an educated vote in every future election.

Please don’t say it’s not important; that you have given up on the system; that it doesn’t do any good anymore. What if Samuel Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson had said that?

As a final note, (this suggestion from my husband), if you are reading this at 9 PM and didn’t vote, please stand and sing, ”Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to vote?”

You have been complaining for four years about things not working as they should. Today you can do something about it.

Today is Election Day. Earn an “I Voted!” sticker. Make America count.

See you at the voting booth.

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