The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 19, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Friday, Oct. 19, 2012

Don’t bemoan process; be informed and vote

The presidential debate was broadcast live last night in a free country where the people get to vote in our new leader — the democratic way — not forced upon us by a militant group with a dictator ... enforcing their own agendas and rule by killing any that oppose or even speak out against them. Yet the naysayers and moaners before and after the debate are incredibly defeating to listen to. Not the people that want to pick one candidate or the other ... but the huge outcry of people tearing down the process.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I am thankful to be in a country where I have a choice — a choice to choose where to send our children to school, a choice to which church I will choose, if any, to attend on Saturday or Sunday or have no religious belief. A choice to bring before a multitude of law enforcement, grievances of small claims, trial by jury or the Supreme Court. We can shop for groceries at huge supermarkets that have shelves and shelves of choices. You can also choose to turn off the television, computer, phone or whatever method you use to keep up with the latest news or events. You even have the right of free speech, to bitch and bemoan the very system that allows you to be free with your opinion.

I just think that if you did not have the right to vote, as women did not before 1920, or if it was forbidden and if you spoke of it, you may, along with your family, be pulled out of your beds and drug away to be tortured and killed, it may seem more valuable and there would be less condemnation of the process.

We make a mockery of the system by not at least knowing what each candidate offers, and worse yet by being so complacent and refusing to vote at all. Voting is a right and a privilege and should not be taken so lightly. If it was taken away tomorrow, would we have enough people with enough grit and guts to fight for the right to earn it back?

I get the fact that sometimes the candidates are not who you would have personally chosen; there are promises made and upon election not kept. That the smear campaigns are annoying and sometimes offensive, but we still have the greatest system and country on earth. We should pray for guidance if in doubt; if you don’t believe in God, then use your own power of reasoning to decide which candidate is best to lead this country, but don’t hate or belittle the process. Many are dying this very day for the that right and privilege.

Attie Kershner

Cool Ridge