Right to Vote - The greatest privilege of all

By Paul Gagliardi 
As we approach another election, you may be asking yourself if voting even matters. It depends on whether you want to sit in the drivers sit or in the backseat. One can simply be along for the ride or ready to steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
I believe in the constitution of this great country and the principles the United States was founded on. Our constitution and the governance structure gives the citizens of this country what many elsewhere in the world do not have. Our ideals and our rights are something to cherish, support, to fight for, and to actively take part in. Voting is one of the most important rights we have as Americans.
Today's labels hurt us more than help us. The political definitions have been twisted and turned to serve an agenda. That is not right. We should vote for who we believe will best serve the needs of our country and state. What is important, if you are like me this November, you want to go somewhere. For me, I want to see everyone go back to work. I want to see our great country and state move forward on the educational front. Every one of our bright children and grandchildren should have the right to learn as much as they are capable of. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We need transparency to see where the real healthcare dollar goes so we can make intelligent choices.
I want to see peace. The world should be a safer place for everyone. And yes, I believe in Santa Claus.
If you care about where you are going on your November ride, please listen to the facts. Read and think for yourself. Your constitutional right to vote is the most valuable gift we have as Americans. We cannot be afraid of the unknown because we are capable of digging deep and working hard to eliminate the unknown.
There are new and useful sources of information. Groups such as Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the League of Women Voters present unbiased factual information that help consumers and voters understand some of the issues that separate candidates. Look to the independent sources and digest this wealth of information out there. Work hard at making your vote count for the principles you believe in. Do not just go along with the crowd. This is a country of individuals with individual rights. That is what has kept us strong and independent. That is our job as voters. Look behind the television commercials and see who is talking straight and who is not. Read the candidates' budget proposals and political agendas for yourself. Be informed. Make good choices. The right to vote is the greatest privilege of all. Do not waste it. People gave their lives so we could have the right to vote.
Please work on your choices. Do the math. Weigh the candidates for who they are and what they stand for. Make intelligent decisions based on what is best for our future. Most importantly, after you have put in the time and work, please vote this November. If you are unable to make it to the polls on Nov. 2, you can also vote by absentee ballot. To learn more about how to vote, visit

Paul Gagliardi is the President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the state's largest statewide voluntary bar organization. The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.

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