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 Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

(More History)