It's easy to take one's democracy for granted. Many of us think it's "a permanent part of the scenery." But democracy hasn't always been a given—in fact, even today, many Americans struggle to cast their vote at the polls. In modern world history, democracy has been taken away from people who couldn't imagine it happening; citizens in Germany, Spain, Italy, Chile, Hungary, and many Eastern European nations lost their political voices (and many lost their lives). And lest one think that this only happened back in "the bad old days," the rise of anti-democratic factions is on the rise, worldwide.
In America, though we are not immune from the Fascist manipulations of Nationalists, we do enjoy a history of embracing an open, liberal (that is, "free") society. I pray that America's democratic DNA remains intact—and that it is fired into action by the trauma of the last two years.
A democracy can only survive if its citizens care. And a citizen only matters if he participates in the electoral process.
Vote as though your life depended on it. And, hopefully, it never will.
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