Voting to Defend the Constitution

Today is Constitution Day. On this day, 233 years ago, white slave owners wrote and signed off on a document that established the rules of our government. A document that originally protected slavery, defined Black American slaves as 3/5ths of a person, and refused to grant the right to vote to women and people of color. But it is a document that has transformed by the efforts of Americans to rise above its Original Sin. This document and the government it defines are ours now. A government that has been handed down generation to generation. A living document that has built our laws, our republic, and our democracy.

A document we have used to keep the nation united. A document we have used to extinguish slavery. A document we have used to grant the right to vote to men of color. A document we have used to grant the right to vote to women. A document we have used to tear down segregation. A document we have used to enforce civil rights. A document we have used to protect the right to marriage. A document we use to combat the disease of bigotry.

That disease still infects our country. We see it. The islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, and outright racism peddled by those that want to maintain the oppressive structure of ignorance chaining not only them but us by their rules.

The Constitution is designed as a shield. A shield that should protect those that are feeling the sting of bigotry and inequality now. But that shield is only as effective as those upholding it. That duty, that task of upholding the Constitution is upon us. That duty and task is carried out by voting.

Vote.

I will not feel all those stings of bigotry. But I have friends that have and still do. It is a responsibility I owe to them. To respect them for who they are. And to reject the attempts of others to infect me with their hate. And to fight that infection in our government. A fight where the most powerful weapon is the vote. A fight I am asking you to join me in. A fight that demands your vote too.

I may not have all the tools to motivate you to vote. And for some, voting is an action you must realize is powerful on your own. And for those that already know the power, I implore you to lead on your own. To reach others and to encourage them to exercise their power that is rightfully theirs. We cannot do this on our own. We will fail unless we come together as a team. Out of many, we are one.

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Stevan Molinar

Stevan Molinar

Management Consultant — Accenture; M.A. International Relations — University of Chicago; Former U.S. Army Infantry Officer. I write on Politics and Economics.