Ballot box still best way to exercise political beliefs

In my lifetime and that’s a lot of years, I’ve voted in nearly every political election held at the local, state, and national levels. My intent is not to brag but only to illustrate the importance of casting votes on those seeking public office and the issues which impact our future.

In my book, the right to vote is more than a right – it’s a privilege. Our nation was founded in part on the principle that ‘We the People’ should exercise our opinions on issues.

This fall’s General Election was exciting, not necessarily in the fact of who won or lost, but the heavy public turnout at polling places. It was humbling to see our democracy and political process in action – no matter one’s political affiliation. A similar turnout was also the case in this summer and fall primary elections.

The voting booth is our rightful place to exercise our political beliefs. Unfortunately, public protests, and at least one deemed violent (at press time), based on the ultimate winner of the presidential election was inexcusable in my book. Certainly, we all have a right to be heard but there is a time and a place to do so constructively. The best place is the ballot box.

These skirmishes threatened other people at the scenes, including law enforcement officials. Those who joined in these events resembled a Jerry Springer-like television episode – TV cameras, ratings, and all.

There have been times when the candidate I supported lost but that’s the way life is – there are winners and losers. Temper-tantrum antics during post-election protests are childish, uncivil, and unnecessary. This behavior can be a harbinger of a democracy with larger issues.

Several online and print articles in recent days suggested how people may undergo mental health counseling due to claimed mental anguish tied to the political candidate losing.

Another article discussed how retail sales could slow this coming Christmas season due to election-related depression. Personally, I think the opposite could happen – people could go on shopping sprees to put their minds on something else.

The bottom line is people need to wise up as the experiences we call ‘life’ include many ups and downs. In reality, the impact from this election and others are probably forgotten in a hurry.

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