It’s time to vote
most important participant in democratic government is not the
officeholder, but the voter. For the system to work effectively, the
electorate has a responsibility to be well-informed and to turn out at
the polls on Election Day.
The development of
technologically sophisticated communications media makes it easier for
citizens to stay well-informed on the issues, but there is also a
downside. Crafty politicians can more easily inundate the public with
disinformation. Also, as recent primaries have shown, the media can
muddy the waters with questionable predictions on the outcome of
Voters are understandably frustrated with the devious games that seem
to be an inseparable element of politics. However, an unacceptable
strategy in response to the political machinations is to stay away from
the polls. The obvious consequence of that is for voters to become the
victims of a corrupt system.
The primary solution is for voters to become well-informed and
politically active in support of those candidates who support the right
However, that approach will not be enough in the process of selecting a
nominee for the presidency. In the Democratic race, the parties are
fairly close on the issues. The bigger question is which candidate has
the charisma to enliven the public and create the necessary pressure
for political change.
The Banner has endorsed Barack Obama because he is the only Democratic
presidential candidate with the charisma, the intellect, the experience
and the integrity to bring about fundamental change in America.
On the Republican side, the choice has narrowed to Arizona Sen. John
McCain, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts
Gov. Mitt Romney. Of these, Romney fails the authenticity test. He
waffles and changes so much that it is impossible to know for certain
where he stands on any issue. Voters have a responsibility to remain
alert and not be deceived. Many voters were tricked by President George
W. Bush, who famously described himself as “the compassionate
Failure to vote empowers the political villains. Go to the polls on
Tuesday, Feb. 5, if only to record your participation in the process.
Salt in the wounds
African Americans, the noose is a hostile symbol of racial oppression.
In the 80 years from 1880 to 1960, more than 4,700 people were lynched
in this country, and the noose was the preferred means of execution.
In recent years, there had not been much concern about the noose, until
the Jena, La., incident last September, when marchers protested the
judicial treatment of six black students punished for fighting with
white high school students over their display of a noose on the school
grounds. Since the Jena Six became a national story, about 60 noose
incidents have been reported around the country.
“Folks gotta step up.”