Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Chance

While I'm writing this, early voting in Texas has come to an end. Those of you who are undecided, or who have missed, for whatever reason, the opportunity to cast your ballot have one more chance on November 4th.

Early this year, I had the great privilege of sharing the panel with Pulitzer Prize winning civil rights historian Taylor Branch. Branch repeated a statement that I have heard and which I cherish to this day: 'Every ballot slip is a little piece of non-violence'.

It is critically important that every American exercises his or her franchise. Patriots who founded this country, those who fought on battlefields, who marched and demonstrated to make real the great promise of this country, who died without knowing this great example of freedom all did so in order that you and I might have the chance to express a political perspective without fear or the threat of violence.

We all know the prospects for corruption and even disappointment - what's important is that you vote. No community, no village or hamlet in our nation can survive without this wonderful rite of citizenship.

Civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy says that among the most important things the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught him was, "Politics is the means by which we determine who gets how much in five areas: who gets how much income; who gets how much education; who gets how much health care; who gets how much housing; who gets how much justice."

Few things in our country are as important, yields so much benefit and so secures our freedoms. It is the primary exercise of advanced citizenship and I hope that no matter for whom you cast your ballot, you take that most significant walk to the polls.

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