As the 2004 presidential election draws near, each candidate is campaigning furiously throughout the country, vying for as many votes as possible. Both candidates, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry and current Republican President George W. Bush, realize that every vote is exceedingly important in determining who will reside in the Oval Office for the next four years. It is also equally important in determining the direction of the country in the aforementioned time period. Bearing this in mind, it is especially imperative that one fully understands the power of the vote and what it truly symbolizes today. and this year. One must also come to grips with understanding the sacredness of that vote, and that many people went through excruciating pain (some even to the point of death) to gain that right. One must also recognize the various signs of certain elements trying to take away or sabotage that right. The previous presidential election with all the fiasco and melodrama associated with it, is worth noting. Many people, feeling the election was fixed from the start, do not feel strongly about the electoral process or the two candidates. Therefore they do not wish to take part in the electoral process, shunning the political greed, corruption and thievery associated with it and special interest groups. However, by not participating in the voting process, they’re seemingly giving the OK to continue the process. By participating in the process, they at least modify to a certain extent the hold of the process by the powers that be and let their voice be heard.With this in mind, the power of the vote must not be underestimated. The vote symbolizes one person’s way of thinking and provides an insight into their beliefs, values and opinions. It also symbolizes the direction they feel the country should go, and that their chosen candidate would take them closer to that direction. It also symbolizes, for the most part, the person’s feelings toward the candidate. Needless to say, they usually feel strongly about the candidate. In conclusion, as election day nears, it is up to the individual, on going to the polls, to vote for the candidate that not only represents their interests, but the interests of the country in general. It is up to them to vote as if they were running the country. They should know instinctively if they are happy or unhappy with the current situation, so what would they do to change it, keep it going as is or make it better?Jackson can be reached at jjackson@campustimes.org.



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