Editorial: Only your vote matters

Posted Online: Nov. 04, 2012, 5:00 am
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The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus
We've always been partial to this quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

And this one from Abraham Lincoln, "The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

But amid the rat-a-tat-tat of the constant barrage of negative TV advertising, some under-siege voters might well find themselves so turned off by the process, that they head to the foxholes, staying safely home on Tuesday.

That, dear readers, is precisely what the creators of campaign sludge want you to do. Their hope is to energize their base, while keeping everyone else at home, thus affecting the outcome of the election. They can only succeed, if you turn away from your civic duty.

As the late novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace wrote, "In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some diehard's vote."

For more months than we care to count, candidates and their surrogates have been shouting at you. This is your chance to quietly, but forcefully, talk back to those who would turn us into the Divided States of America.
Please, don't miss the opportunity. What they say doesn't matter now. It's what you say, whether you do so by voting or not. And, when Tuesday has come and gone, we hope that the commonweal will not suffer lasting scars from this divisive and costly campaign. One way to ensure that will happen is to pledge today not to demonize those with whom we disagree. There's been enough of that already.

Whether it's the fault of angry talking heads, the Internet information explosion or the dark money that has been driving bitter Election 2012 broadcast advertising campaigns, come Wednesday, it will be time to call a truce.

Over the past few weeks, we've heard from scores of readers regarding the election. By and large, your comments and criticisms were welcome. Thanks for your views. We've gladly published many of them via hundreds of inches of reader letters about the election and you can find more today on pages A5 and A10. We urge you to carefully consider what your neighbors have to say. (Find others at QCOnline.com/electioncentral.)

We, too, weighed in on key issues and races. Please, remember, we do so not to tell voters what to do when they go to the polls, but to provide another source for to help inform your choices. It might be easier not to. In addition to the time required to meet with the candidates and research the issues, our choices are bound to make some folks angry. So why do it? It's simple, really. We believe we cannot comment on the issues of the day while ignoring the election of the decision-makers who make those decisions.
Toward that end, here's who and what we recommended:

--- 14th Judicial Circuit Court judges: Retain them all
-- Constitutional Amendment regarding pensions: No
-- Silvis Burn Ban: Yes
-- Rock Island County Board reduction: Yes
-- Rock Island and Henry County concealed carry: Yes
-- Rock Island County Board: We urged voters give a close look to reform candidates David Cox, Christine Filbert, James Boyd, Ron Camper, Mark Archibald, Jim Dieterich, Michael Zeither, Jim Gager, Bill Bloom, Michael Coussens, Don Johnston, Mike McColl, Korry Tessen, Virginia "Ginny" Shelton, Bill Long, Brian Westin, Chad Bohonek, Linda Soyke, Mike Thoms, Drue Mielke, Marty Matherly, Jr. and Ron Oelke.
-- Rock Island County Recorder: Both Tony Holland and Chief Deputy Clerk Kelly Fisher are recommended.
--u RICO coroner: Brian Gustafson
-- RICO state's attorney: John McGehee
-- State senate, 36th District, Mike Jacobs
-- State representative, 71st District, Rich Morthland
-- State representative, 72nd District, Pat Verschoore
-- State representative, 74th District, Don Moffitt
-- Congress, 17th District, Bobby Schilling
-- President: Mitt Romney
As always, of course, what we say isn't the last, or most important word on the subject. That must come from you.
Remember, the government belongs, not to the political operatives, or even the candidates or this newspaper, but to you. Yours is the only vote that matters.
Please, cast your ballot Tuesday.


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.

(More History)