Voting – Our Most Basic Patriotic Duty

By Craig Cline

On October 9, 1940, almost 80 years ago, John Lennon was born. About 40 years later he was murdered on December 8, 1980. 

I mark these dates on my calendar and each year both listen to and read the lyrics to what for me is John’s signature song:  “Imagine.”

Here are the last six lines:

“Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.”

And two other lines:

“Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…”

John’s vision for peace and sharing was global.  Wouldn’t we like to see this beacon for human interaction be brightly lit here in our own United States of America?

The essence of what it means to be the “United” States is contained in our nation’s guiding light — The Preamble to our Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Note that “We the People” is the subject of the Constitution’s admirable intent.  Now — especially now — it’s incumbent on all patriotic people to bring those words to life.

By definition, a patriot is “a person who vigorously supports his/her country”; also, “one who shows a special concern for the well-being of one’s country.”

Patriotism is not political, except for a patriot’s civic duty to vote.  So, at the least, all of us who can, must vote.  If we don’t vote, we’re not acting patriotically.

Here’s a bit of serious levity for you to enjoy. This four-minute video is as hilarious as it is instructive.  It occurs to me that, to some degree, we Americans have become a nation of Barney Fifes.  We don’t want that.

But even though he flubs the words to the Preamble, we know Barney would urge us to unite in our duty to VOTE.

When we vote, we strengthen our Constitution — the foundation we stand upon together.  Every American should protect it, preserve it, and keep it from crumbling.

We must do our most basic duty as American patriots.  We must vote by November 3rd.

Craig Cline is a Salem citizen.  You may reach him at 503-364-2448.

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