Good Government

Trent England | November 1, 2014

Three reasons to vote

Trent England

Tuesday is Election Day. Low voter turnout is expected, and not only in Oklahoma. Does it matter? Here are three reasons why Americans who believe in our nation’s founding principles and restoring constitutionally limited government should always cast that ballot.

1. The Founders

Even during the American Revolution, the founding generation held elections, participated in political campaigns, and voted. What most college history professors won’t tell you is that many of the American Founders believed in broad voting rights. In fact, elections to state conventions for ratifying the U.S. Constitution may have been the most democratic ever in the world up to that time (the franchise would subsequently constrict). Voting is one way you participate in and endorse the American Founders’ form of government.

2. The Progressives

Unfortunately, the “Progressives” have dramatically undermined constitutional government by shifting power into administrative agencies or other kinds of government bureaucracies. This creates entrenched interests within government and deprives elections of some of their rightful consequences. It is as if the Progressives say to citizens, You have your little election fun, perhaps blow off some steam, but the real power is out of the hands of those you elect.

This Progressive assault on representative government is a reason to vote and to participate in campaigns and in serious conversations about issues. Against the Progressives’ claim that experts must govern, the greatest argument is regular people standing up for themselves and their own common sense in the political process.

3. The Next Generation

As parents or other kinds of role models, what we say matters little compared with what we do. If our words go one way and our footsteps another, trust the next generation to follow our footsteps. Casting a ballot after researching and thinking about the questions and candidates is a simple, profound way to give a glimpse of what it means to be a citizen in a republic.

To learn even more about our republic, attend one of OCPA’s First Principles programs.

Trent England David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England

David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.

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