Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Encourage People to Vote


Fred Scheller is the publisher of  the Daily Star.  The following is an excerpt from his most recent column in The Oneonta Daily Star.
“I’m trying to figure out why we have a federal holiday for Christopher Columbus but we can’t figure out a way to do the same for Election Day?  To me, this is a no brainer.  All I hear is how politicians are going to represent the hard-working people of America.  Yet, we can’t give them a day off their factory job to vote.
“I hear the argument that it is not necessary.  The polls are open early, the polls are open late, and people can take off work for an hour or so.  But what’s wrong with making it convenient?  This is America, the land of convenience.  We have fast food, ice makers, microwaves, electronic car starters.  Our pharmacies have a drive-thru window, our lighters are disposable.  We love convenience. So why not on one of our most important days?  I guarantee the voting numbers will go up and isn’t that the goal? 
“Or is it?  I believe some of our politicians don’t want more people to vote.  It scares them, they like it just the way it is, predicable.  Why else would lawmakers work so hard to suppress voters?  Redistricting, restrictions on early voting, voter identification changes.  That is not encouraging people to vote.
“We are a democracy and democracy means by the people.  In my opinion, everyone should have off Election Day and be encouraged to vote.  How about every second Monday in October?”
I strongly agree that Election Day should be a federal holiday, but the date is already set by law for general elections of public officials.  It occurs on the Tuesday immediately after the first Monday in November.  The earliest possible date is November 2, and the latest possible date is November 8, as it will be this year.

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