Janet Auge
Janet Auge

October 23, 2017

An article in The Daily Times Herald Oct. 12 reported on the possibility of a write-in campaign to oust certain Carroll city councilpeople who run unopposed on the ballot.

While the Nov. 7 election may seem small potatoes in our large world, it is something we as citizens have control over, thanks to God and country.

In today’s society, we seem to be very focused on patriotism and are confronted with news every day that seems to threaten our warm feeling of safety with which we are privileged.

Recently, the controversy surrounding the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem has dug up not only opinions on patriotism, but also racism.

While we have our own personal viewpoints on this matter, this is not the reason for our writing.

Currently, many of our servicemen and servicewomen are overseas, defending freedom in all areas of the globe.

One particular thing our men and women in uniform defend is freedom to vote in open elections.

People who are a part of a new democracy will at times travel miles on foot and risk their lives to vote, and our armed services protect the right for them to do so.

Contemplating this, it makes us wonder why more people aren’t upset about the low level of voter turnout in this country.

Just take our community, right here in Carroll, Iowa, where low percentages of the voting population turned out for many recent elections.

These numbers are shocking, knowing that our community has a history of service in the military. Their sacrifice was not theirs alone, but also that of families who endured the separation while loved ones, dads and moms, daughters and sons, were serving their country. They serve to ensure that others have the right to vote and a chance at freedom. It makes us wonder why more people in our community do not take advantage of this privilege.

We can talk about whether freedom of speech allows NFL players to kneel, but to us, this seems like a modest, albeit legitimate, concern compared to the fact that thousands of voting-age citizens in our community don’t vote.

We applaud writing letters to the editor about the NFL players kneeling, going on social media and reading articles about it and “sharing” them with friends, or even writing your own post about the issue. That is your God-given right, and we think it is great that you want to be involved in that conversation.

But remember, being a patriot is more than just scrolling through social media or the internet for views that mirror your own — or reveling in the outrage of being triggered by some offense from a keyboard warrior tapping away in a city in Washington state or Maine or Macedonia (fake news) where you’re never been, and probably never will visit.

Being a true patriot also includes becoming informed on our communities’ issues and voting in elections. There are no small issues in small towns. We need everyone involved for local democracy to work. Few people have the courage to run for office. Everyone has the time to vote, especially with early and absentee voting stretching for weeks before the election.

If you don’t vote, you lose the standing to complain about what your elected officials do.

We invite you to vote Nov. 7 in the local election in the City of Carroll and other cities and towns in our area and consider this a constructive step toward appreciating the rights so many in our community — from the early settlers who served our Union Army during the Civil War to men who stormed Normandy to the young men and women fighting terrorism in the Middle East and Africa at this very minute.

Carroll residents have taken bullets for our freedom.

You have no excuse not to take minutes to cast a ballot in a local election for the preservation of your rights, and those of generations to come.