Commentary, Defending Democracy

The warm-up for November has arrived

Granted, there will be a lot more on the line six months from now when the first fully-fledged opportunity to render a verdict on Trumpism arrives, but today’s primary election is extremely important as well.

As this morning’s Wilmington Star News explains in its lead editorial:

“This is your time to govern. On Election Day, the PEOPLE are in session

Are citizens going to put a ballot where their mouth is?

Political passions have been running high since Donald Trump’s victory. Marchers have hit the streets and social media is in maximum overdrive on all sides. Not a day goes by that we don’t receive a letter and/or a swarm of Buzzes with passionate political pleas.

But talk is cheap — political energy is for naught unless people vote. And May 8 is a big test, as North Carolina voters choose candidates for Nov. 6, the first post-Trump-win general election. While Trump’s name is not on the ballot, his presidency looms large over today’s primary — perhaps not on specific issues, but certainly on general political direction and party momentum.

Primaries, of course, are intraparty affairs — there are no clashes among D’s, R’s and L’s today, but turnout and which candidates get their party’s backing should provide some insight on what to expect this fall….

With political passions seemingly high on all sides, we hope to see a better-than-usual turnout. Granted, we’ll take greater civic engagement any way we can get it, but voter turnout shouldn’t have to rely on passions running high. We should stay informed about our government and vote regularly, not because we are angry or suddenly motivated by a big issue, but because it’s our primary responsibility as citizens in a representative democracy.

So give someone a ride to the polls; take your children or grandchildren (school is out for many) and let them see democracy in action; vote in honor or in memory of a veteran, perhaps one who died so you could exercise this right.

Whatever it takes, get out today and perform your most important civic responsibility. If you voted early, thank you.

Remember, this is your time to govern. On Election Day, the PEOPLE are in session, and there is work to be done. How can we legitimately criticize our leaders for not fulfilling their governing duties if we do not fulfill our own?

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find your polling place and a sample ballot at vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup

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