On the Need to Vote

“Monday Musings” for Monday November 7, 2016
Volume VI, No. 45/305

Ballot in voting machine

Moral Imperative of Casting Our Vote

By Assad Meymandi, MD, PhD, ScD (Hon), DLFAPA*

Tomorrow, November 8, 2016, is election day. The occasion gives me the opportunity to reiterate what is good about America and what is right with our lives and why we should take the matter of voting seriously. We should get up in the morning and purposefully and diligently go to our district polls and cast our votes. It is not only a civic obligation and personal responsibility. Voting is a moral responsibility. Here are some reflections:

This election cycle has been most unusual. The individuals on top of the ticket are not suitable for the office of presidency. Billions of dollars are spent nationally to tear down opponents and avoid addressing issues, policies and priorities. Elections are taking the flavor of mini civil wars. Nonetheless, I submit that America is the best thing that ever happened in this world and to this world. While I do not have Lincoln’s eloquence at Gettysburg, I do take inspiration from his every word to make the point that to preserve the integrity of our nation and continuity of Republic we MUST vote. Not four score and seven years ago, but about ten thousand years ago, the age of Neolithic man, God set out to send humans on the road to perfection. He sent the ancient Persian prophet, Zaratustra (Zoroaster), as early as 500 BC, to bring us the concept of good and evil which in modern day philosophy is known as epistemological dualism. The Sumerians brought us literacy and language. Lydians of Asia Minor (Turkey) gave us writing, Egyptians taught us social order and government; the Persians, participatory democracy; the Greeks city-state and citizen representation; the Babylonians gave us devotion and discipline; and Jesus came bringing us civility, hope and love. 1215 years later, the Anglo-Saxons brought us the Magna Carta. And in 1756 we were given Mozart, through whom music flowed like water running through the fountains of Tivoli.

But it was not until 1776 that God commissioned, in a divine and mysterious manner, a group of faithful thinkers to lay the cornerstone of a new experiment that in a short span of time has become the envy of the world. The experiment is the Republic they created. It is our United States of America. I am convinced that God had a definite hand guiding the framers of our constitution, the US Constitution, in creating this profoundly decent and just document. The American Constitution, as a literary piece, combines Augustinian grace, Franciscan tenacity, Christian hope and possibility, Talmudic order and Zoroastrian aspiration for good deed and perfection. It is a talismanic masterpiece with magical powers. We have seen Sultans, kings, Shahs and potentates come and go. But governing by the rule of law, the unique legacy of the American Constitution and the nobility of Bill of Rights are here to stay.

We should all be proud to be Americans. As individual citizens all of us occupy the lofty position as guarantors of this sacred legacy, the legacy that in America, laws and not men rule. We, citizens, are the law makers, and we are the ultimate governors of our country and our destiny. As one American who enjoys the inalienable freedom and liberties bestowed upon me, I thank God for America, and for the sacrifice and guardianship of our sacred United States Constitution by our founding fathers. America is unique in that nowhere on earth the sanctity and supremacy of the rule of law are so cherished and enshrined in the very fabric of the nation’s psyche and primordial DNA.

Yes, from time to time, America may go down financially, and we may experience high national debt and low employment, but we bounce back out of the doldrums triumphantly. How we as citizens may contribute to the health and durability of America is to vote. Our responsibility as Americans is to partake of the liberty, to be patriotic, and to cast our vote. Exercising the right to vote is more than a serious responsibility. It is more than a civic obligation. It is a moral imperative. We owe it to ourselves, to our families and to our nation, to protect and conserve our Republic by going to the polls and voting. Tomorrow is the day. Let’s show our gratitude for America by voting.

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*The writer is Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, Distinguished Life fellow American Psychiatric Association; Life Member, American Medical Association; Life Member, Southern Medical Association; and Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Wake County Physician Magazine (1995-2012). He is a Raleigh, North Carolina writer and dramaturge and the 2016 winner of NC Award in Fine Arts.
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