As American elections draw near, may I offer one last thought from one citizen.
My father in law took the brunt of an enemy shell on Saipan so you could vote. 290,000 men and women died facing Hitler and Tojo so you could vote. Americans have died on their home soil and all over the world so you can vote. I spent four years in a missile silo holding the keys to Armageddon so you could vote. A 19-year old Afghan woman cast the first vote in the first election held in her lifetime because American, NATO, and Afghani troops died to secure the vote. People in rebellions worldwide have fought dictators with stones and bare hands so they could have a government they had a chance to vote on .
I'm a realist: I know that voting can be tainted, its results minimized, its mandates sometimes ignored or its chosen candidates corrupted. But no one can say in America in 2016 that we do not have clear choices. The impact of your votes - OUR votes - will be historic, the effects worldwide. We're choosing aldermen, state representatives, mayors, senators, congressmen, and a President. We're voting on school bond issues, state constitutional amendments, local ordinances, and the raising and use of public funds.
There's a lot wrong with America, and we can't fix it all by voting. But we sure as hell cannot fix it WITHOUT voting. Voting this week is taking the next step into our country's future.