This is going to be a short post, but I hope that the gravity of the issue will speak more loudly than the words I can offer in explanation.
Several times in a few given years we go and conduct a civil act; one so engrained and mechanical in some of us we forget to consider the true nature of the act and the repercussions that follow. I am, of course, speaking on the subject of voting. And although many may question whether voting has any significance any longer, I would put forward that it most certainly does, especially because so many citizens have turned away from voting and let the tides of politics flow without their paddles turning the waters.
In Ancient civilizations, in societies all over the world, a simple act of casting a vote was rarely seen on an organized level. Sure, groups of men would gather and determine a matter by chatting it over and getting the consensus, even taking a count of names or hands to decide a matter. But voting was not a common, or legitimate process of government for the vast majority of peoples and governments. Kings, Emperors, Lords, Khans, Warlords, Chieftains, and any number of other political/social/religious leaders made most of the rules and decisions through edict. The common man had little control concerning the governing bodies over him and their actions. Men were ruled over, often by a class or overlord who had limited concern for his subjects.
The first systems of government that truly used individual voice, casting the vote, as a legitimate process for deciding important issues in the community emerged from the Greek city-states, the Polis. The voting was limited, it was sometimes unruly, but it held an important distinction from most of the rest of the world; men were allowed a say in the future of their state and the laws that governed over the state. With exceptions, all the men of the polis were bound by the same laws, citizens of good standing had the same rights as all other citizens, and they could maintain that standing simply by abiding by the laws, many of which they had helped to put in place either directly or by appointment of a judge. History would forever be changed by the introduction of systems of government made and upheld by the citizens that existed inside them.
We today are the political descendents of these early forms of democracy and republican governments. The undeniable elevation of man that came about from the simple act of casting a vote, putting an individuals opinion up to vote, has fed man’s desire for liberty and self-government. Through these developments and elevations throughout history, man has been further freed to change his world, change himself, and fulfill the instinctive need in all of us; to guide our own actions, and thus, our own futures.
When man is free to chase his dreams, he reaches for things unsought, and whenever he is given the liberty to act on his own, he never fails to amaze and surprise.
Whenever possible, whenever required, go out and vote!