The early settlers of this country were fleeing oppression, predominantly religious oppression. Oppression to believe as they wished to believe, to speak as they felt compelled to speak, to live as they needed to live. These settlers overcame challenging obstacles at great expense of life and limb. Their conviction was so strong that it has lived on and flourished for over 400 years. The reason America has flourished is that a group of highly intelligent, highly motivated and highly foresighted individuals designed a set of very effective rules called the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

These founding fathers saw a time when the promise of America would be under attack. When people without pride in their republic would try to seize control and destroy it for their own purposes, none of which would be for the good of the citizenry. Other philosophical “experiments” such as socialism and communism have been total failures for the citizenry. This couldn’t happen under the Founders’ design unless the citizenry let it happen. Unless they let their rights be slowly curtailed and then taken away.

How does this happen? By not paying attention, not listening to what’s being said and not connecting the dots when it doesn’t make sense. This makes us blind to the truth.

We can only preserve our freedom if we maintain our vote. Too many people think it will be OK if they don’t vote, that it doesn’t matter. It does matter because too many people who do vote believe the empty promises of the ones who want to take out freedoms away.

Our freedom matters. Our vote matters. It’s our right, our moral obligation, our civic duty to preserve freedeom. It’s a right that our ancestors fought and died to protect.

Diane Vernesoni

Wiscasset

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