Please VoteT. SHER SINGH
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Democracy a la America has a whole lot of faults and shortcomings, some of them serious, all of them visible during the lengthy campaigns that have brought the country to the threshold of Election Day 2012.
Next Tuesday -- November 6, 2012 -- Americans go to the polls to elect, inter alia, their President for the next four years.
Despite the warts and all, it is still a phenomenal exercise in democracy, unequalled in its ambit and impact in the world today. Every time I follow it, I laugh and cry at its shenanigans, I crimp and I cringe, I complain and I opine, but truthfully, ultimately, I am in awe of it all.
During each of the elections held in the decades I have watched the goings-on closely, I have heard hoarse claims from the players that each of them was a game-changer, that each was the most important in the history of the United States, that each entailed far-reaching choices, that each would leave America changed forever.
The same claims are being made this time around.
Strange, but each time, these claims held far more truth than anything the false prophets could imagine in their wildest of dreams. They still do.
Wasn’t Nixon a game changer? He began the Great Decline of a great nation.
Did Clinton transform the nation? Much of the nation loved him for his economics and his childishness, but his opponents hated him twice as much and planted the seeds of the Great Divide that plagues the country today.
Did George W. Bush leave the country any different from what he usurped from Gore? He left it on its knees, its kneecaps busted and bloodied.
Is next week’s election important for the future of the USA?
And for the rest of the world.
The choices this time are, again, severe. The one chosen this time could continue the plunder and pillage that has characterized much of what we have witnessed in recent decades. Or perform a miracle and show the way to the nation to pull out of its doldrums.
The choice has far reaching implications for the world too. Whether we like it or not, if America gets the hiccups, the rest of the world rumbles. If America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. Our fortunes are tied, no matter where we are, to the ailing giant.
There is concern -- again -- therefore, as to how Americans will vote next Tuesday.
I am a Canadian and, of course, cannot vote in the American election. But I have my opinions on the subject, some of them strong and clearly expressed in previous columns.
But how I feel, sitting across the border, looking down on the country below us, doesn’t matter.
What matters is that each of you who lives in America does vote.
It is important for Sikh-Americans, each and everyone who is eligible to cast a vote, to exercise his/her franchise and help choose the President.
Which way you vote is your personal decision. But no matter how you vote, who you vote for, your vote is important.
That is what makes democracy work. And that is how you get to shape your future and that of your children.
You have had ample time to decide which of the two choices is good for you and your loved ones, and for the values you espouse, the causes you support, the dreams you nurture.
By now you should know which of the two you think is good for the future of the US economy -- something that will have impact on your career and of those around you.
You should also know by now who you think is best for Sikh-Americans, who genuinely cares for diversity in America, who is truly comfortable with other religions than his own, etc., etc.
It should be clear to you now who you think will help recover and command respect for the US in the global community; after all, it is a world leader.
You should also have an opinion by now as to who you think is good for the chances for greater peace and stability in the world …
As I said, it doesn’t matter what your final answer is, the important thing is that you vote.
Vote early, if you can, if you haven’t already … if your jurisdiction facilitates early voting.
Otherwise, please do make it a point to go out of your way to vote on Tuesday.
Better still, please make sure your family and loved ones vote, that your friends and colleagues, vote.
Check with the sangat in your gurdwara on Sunday. If anyone needs help to get to the polling station on Tuesday, please help out.
Above all, it is imperative that every Sikh-American participate in this extraordinary, quadrennial exercise of choosing your leader!
Let no Sikh-American be left behind.
Conversation about this article
1: Sandy (USA), November 02, 2012, 9:54 PM.
The US is run by a financial class that controls the Democratic-Republican duopoly. Elections are such futile exercises when you know that regardless of who gets in, the power stays with the financial class. The course is set for the US economy: long deflation with declining standard of living (and we are going to take your Canadians for a ride along with us). What we need is a revolution, not another do-nothing ballot box election.