Raise Your Voice

12/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Vote! This is the word of the day, and all by itself it inspires a world of feelings, hopes and dreams for our nation. This one-word-shout-out is a clarion call that resonated for many of us; the latest records confirm that the number of registered voters nationwide has increased a couple of percentage points to include 73.5% of the eligible population. We haven't achieved such numbers since women won the right to vote in 1920. As a woman, I feel particularly encouraged to see so many of us raising our voices, but still, I wonder why we haven't reached 100%.

No matter our ideology, and perhaps because of our individual beliefs, the ability to cast our ballots and use our voices to make a personal choice is a right that all Americans should and truly must honor. It is an honor that deserves our respect and, I believe, some level of reverence. The right to vote was hard won - and the reason we continue to fight so hard for it, and are willing to send American soldiers into harm's way to preserve it, can be summed up by another powerful word; freedom. Bottom line, we need to take our right to vote very seriously, and exercise it. All of our choices need to be counted, because all of us count.

Though the past two years have been stressful and oft-times contentious for many of us, as a nation we selected two candidates, and as a nation we must now make a choice between them. Wishing for other choices, or hiding from the vote would be a tragic waste of voice. No more time to waffle - no more time to argue, grumble, and complain. Put your rights to work. Vote.

Our job today is just the beginning of the realization of the dream our founding fathers and mothers had for this country. Just as we the people must make our choice today to put a new leader into the White House, that soon-to-be-announced esteemed leader must be very clear about this country's dream, and the part he will play in realizing it. We will be entrusting him with a mission that includes bridging the divide between ideologies. Our new President must be a leader for all of us - all parties, all ethnic groups, all socioeconomic categories, and all genders. In this time of economic woe, international dysfunction, environmental deterioration, and fear of war and terrorism, we can't afford to have a government - a President and a Congress, that squabbles, argues, and takes hard-line, unyielding sides like young, petulant school children. We need them to be wise.

So, if you haven't already cast your ballot, do so. Let's raise our collective voice, and send a strong and fervent message to our future President and the government that will work with him, that the whole world can hear. One that begins with, We the People.