Editorial: Be proud about voting on Tuesday

Published 9:59 am Monday, November 5, 2012

Newspaper readers tend to be voters, but we nevertheless want to urge eligible citizens to get out and vote Tuesday.

Don’t let the endless, shady and divisive TV and radio advertisements get you down. That’s what many of them want. It seems downright un-American to design campaigns that turn people off from doing their duty as American citizens, but it happens.

But consider this: Many people have fought for your right to vote and some have died for it.

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At one time in America, only white land-owning men could vote. Over the years, with many political fights and steps of great courage, that right to cast a ballot was extended to all men, then men of all races, then to all women and then to people older than 18. People have fought to remove barriers such as poll taxes, literacy tests and multi-generational residency requirements.

And Americans have fought and died defending the right to vote going all the way back to the Revolutionary War, when taxation without representation was the central issue. They have fought and died protecting the country from powers foreign and domestic that could have limited who gets to vote or even voting altogether, ranging from the Civil War to World War II to the Cold War and, of course, the modern-day War on Terror.

So vote Tuesday. Cherish it. Be proud to be an American when you do. You are participating in the oldest democracy on the planet.