Gloucester Daily Times
---- — To the editor:
I am responding to Art Thomas’ recent letter headlined “Voting editorial a load of tripe” (the Times, Tuesday, Aug. 21).
I’d like to thank Mr. Thomas for his letter and adding his own load of tripe with his comments, more like excuses, for those among us who don’t vote due to reasons, including economic status. A big part of the problem in this country is we keep lowering the bar. The bar is so low at this point we’d have to dig it up to raise it again.
Many families tonight will gather around a dinner table. However, for some there is an empty chair because their loved-one was lost on a battlefield somewhere around the world. Korea, Europe, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever. If our loved ones can go great distances away from home, in harm’s way, under tremendous conditions, carrying packs up to 80 pounds, laying their lives on the line, then anyone in this country can find a way to vote — period, whatever their circumstances.
Mr. Thomas writes in his letter regarding voting that people “might think the process makes demands on them they cannot fulfill.” Really? What “demands”? You mean like the demands on our soldiers who protect our freedoms so we can actually cast a vote?
How many pictures and stories have we seen on the news of people in Iraq walking miles trough the desert to get to a village to place their votes. Nobody had to spoon feed them, and many voted under fear of threats. These people make our poor look rich in comparison.
Mr. Thomas then states that people may “fear being selected for jury duty, which many poor people cannot afford.” This is one of the most basic duties in our society.
Anyone who is privileged enough to live in this country who avoids voting due to potential jury duty is shameful. Many people on public assistance don’t work at all, so why would missing work even be an issue. Illegal immigrants who receive assistance can’t vote anyway.
Mr. Thomas then goes on to say that people might have “had horrible experiences in another country and fear that could happen to them once again in this country even though they are now citizens.”
What utter nonsense. Someone who made the decision to travel all the way to America, our free nation of liberty and opportunity, who has gone through the long process of becoming a citizen, who then takes the oath, only to be fearful of what might happen to them if they vote? This doesn’t even make sense.
We’ve become a society of apathy and excuses, and Mr. Thomas unfortunately perpetuates this cycle. To all reading this who have served, and those families who have lost loved ones – thank you for your sacrifice and service. We owe you a great debt, the least of which is registering to vote, and taking part in our civic process. My grandparents came to this country as poor as could be, and they voted and took part in their civic duties. How is their “poor” without a government check different than the current “poor” with a government check.
God bless this country, its freedoms, privileges, and those who serve it.
Granite Street, Rockport