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Voting Does More Than Settle an Election

November 03, 2002

In a couple of days, once again we will have the opportunity to celebrate the historical triumph of liberty over tyranny by casting our votes for this or that candidate or in support or opposition to certain policies. If you are reading this letter, chances are that you are among one of those "most likely voters." However, I would like to respectfully ask you to consider, this election day, to find a friend or a relative who is not planning to vote, and talk them into participating in the election process. Even better, take them along with you to the polling place and maybe a drink after. If they ask why you care and why they should participate, you may consider telling them any of the following:

Tell them that their vote is the ultimate respect to the memories of all those who died in two world wars, in Korea and in Vietnam, fighting nazism and communism.

Tell them that their walk into the voting booth is rekindling the crushed spirits of those who marched into the Tiananmen Square.

Tell them that that little funny thing they do with their eyebrows when deciding whom to vote for will bring a smile, albeit short and pale, to the faces of the political prisoners with broken jaws in Iran.

Tell them that the sound of opening the curtains at the voting booths will be the most heavenly music to the tired ears of Saudi women under veils.

Tell them that the drink that you will share together after will be the celebration of human spirit and individual freedom and will be the strongest blow to those ignorant and intolerant souls who planned and celebrated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Tell them that if they have kids, their vote will be the single most valuable lesson that they may have ever given to their children.

Hamid Bahadori

Mission Viejo

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