Pastor Kelly Miller Smith Jr., First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill

By Pastor Kelly M. Smith Jr.

“I recently heard a woman say that she didn’t vote because she didn’t believe that we live in a democracy where her vote counted. What she doesn’t realize is that when she does not vote, she is working to assure that it is not a democracy. People should realize that when we abdicate our right and duty then we are allowing others to make decisions for us. And we then don’t have grounds to complain about what is happening.

But in reality it is not about not having grounds to complain. It is about choosing to engage in the process that WILL affect each of our lives. The least we can do is to try to make a difference, even if it is an uphill battle.

It is not just about national elections either. I was sitting on a plane recently and the woman next to me struck up a conversation which included some politics. Among the things she said was that we minimize the importance of state and local elections when that is where we really can have an impact. These are the places that decisions are made that address our daily lives. We can feel either the delight or the damage of the decisions state and local politicians make more so than what happens on the national level. I tend to agree with her. We need to be fully engaged in the civic responsibility so we can work to change our communities, our state and our nation into a place where people will be treated fairly, regardless of who they are. It is not just about the fact that people died for us to have the right. It is about being responsible adults and citizens of the United States.

Let us not let this election, or any election pass, without us participating in what is crucial to our present and our future’.