Fairfield Ledger

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 26, 2016

What’s at stake in presidential election

By Jim Turner | Oct 13, 2016

To the editor:

With the election less than a month away, a lot of Americans are trying to decide what to do; should we vote for one of the two major party candidates? Should we vote for a third party candidate? Should we not vote at all? How should we decide? What are the principles involved? What is truly at stake? Will our vote make a difference? How important is the election anyway?

Some people might tell you that the board of supervisors’ election is more important than our presidential election, and they would be right to some extent. The impact of a board of supervisors’ election can have very immediate results that influence our lives directly. Here are my two cents on why it is so important to vote in a presidential election and specifically in the election of our new president.

We owe our children, the future generations of this country, the best future we can give them. That is and will be our legacy. Most of the people who vote in this election will be members of the “baby boom generation” and the two major party candidates are as well. This is likely to be the last presidential election in American history where this is true – all the candidates, most of the voters: one generation. The millennials and Generation Y are about to take over. By 2024, they will.

What kind of country do we want to leave the younger generations? What in the final analysis will be the legacy of the “baby boom generation?” We grew up in post-World War II America in an affluent society. Jobs were plentiful. Personal debt and national debt were generally low. Opportunities abounded, even, gradually, for minorities.

We had the Vietnam war – Woodstock – a drug culture, and several tragic assassinations of our leaders. We went through a lot. But as we enter our retirement years, we must ask ourselves: Did we serve our country the way our parents did? Did we make the hard decisions, the sacrifices. the contribution they did? Did we ask what we could do for our country rather than what our country could do for us?

Our vote in the end is not about what political party we belong to. It is about what it means to be an American, to have inherited the rights and privileges of being an American, but also the duties and obligations of being an American. We owe not just the future generations the best we can do for our country. We owe all the generations of the past who gave so much – that became our example – that showed us what it means to be Americans.

We must not become complacent, cynical and/or demoralized at this vital time in our nation’s history. We must find inspiration and renewed and revitalized faith and hope in creating a better future for all Americans and for our family of nations. We can vote and then do our part to make our nation what it has always had the potential to be: a lighthouse of peace, freedom and goodwill in the world.


– Jim Turner, Fairfield


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