It’s hard to imagine the periods in our history when certain people did not have the right to vote based on their race or gender. The right for all to voice their opinion has been something I have taken for granted for most of my life.
Yet this year, this landmark year in American election history, has reminded us of the many people who sacrificed their health, well-being and even lives in order to assure that those who came after them were secured the right to vote. These were the true unsung heroes of America.
Hillary Clinton’s historical bid for the presidency and Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination have reminded us of how far women have come since the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the creation of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Barack Obama’s historical presidential nomination reminds us of the long and painful path in which African-Americans have marched, from the creation of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1865 until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (to learn more, click here).
We cannot let the efforts of those who have come before us go unnoticed. People suffered and died for the right to step into that booth and cast their vote—to let their voice be heard.
Author Ayn Rand once said, “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote a way the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from the oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual.”
Visit BLOG THE VOTE for more non-partisan readings on the importance of voting.