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October 24, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: The right to vote should be cherished

Many of us nowadays feel as if our vote doesn’t matter. I understand and know exactly how you feel because I feel the same frustration. It wasn’t until recently I felt differently about our right to vote. Reading on the struggles of Eastern Europe from the 1940s to the 1980s has made me more thankful for this fundamental right we are privileged to have. This one right caused millions of deaths, families divided and countries crippled because citizens were stripped of this right by Communist rule and the lack of political reform.

In 1956, Hungary and its people voiced their frustrations and outrage over the lack of choice they had. The protest staged by the Hungarian people gave way to the introduction of Warsaw Pact troops in Budapest backed by the Soviet Union. The Prime Minister, Imre Nagy, was a Communist but wanted to reform to give the people more of a voice. His views were contradictory to the Soviet Union and they removed him and replaced him with a brutal dictator, Janos Kadar. The Kadar regime was ruthless and deeply divided the country.  Two years later, Imre Nagy was given a fake trial and executed for treason because he wanted to give the people a voice and a choice. The basic right of all humanity was taken away; they had no voice except the Communist puppets. It took thirty-three years and a Supreme Court ruling in Hungary to overturn the treason charge and clear Nagy of any crime.  All Nagy tried to do was give his people a choice and that choice was stripped away.

As we close in on election night, think of what these people went through to get what we take for granted. We are a nation of a unique identity because of our individual rights, and contrary to what we see in the news, many people look up to us because we have a choice and a voice.

Voting is a very special right to have and one we should not take for granted. I ask everyone, I encourage everyone to get out and vote this year. Read up on the policies, form your own opinions and on Nov. 6 practice this right we are fortunate to have. Remember, millions and millions of people have died for a right that we take for granted.

Tyler Ness, Muncie

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