The 4th of July has come and gone. On this day we pay homage to how we became a country. Our Declaration of Independence is a major building block to our beginnings.
However, one of the sentences in this document is terribly misleading. The sentence that reads “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” — is inaccurate. (For this to be true, all men would have had the same rights as one another).
When the United States first held elections, the only people who could vote were white men who had property, and that was the way it was for a long time. The 19th Amendment of 1920 allowed women the right to vote, and in 1965 the Voting Rights Act helped more minorities to vote.
It was a long, arduous and deadly journey. Being a woman or a minority used to be a barrier to voting. The history of how different groups of people had to fight to earn the right to vote is horrendously unjust. All citizens should have had that right to begin with. The right to vote was not given but earned.
It would have been better for the founders to have written that all PEOPLE (instead of just men) are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We can rewrite history by taking into account that to have a more perfect union, we need all our citizens to have their voices heard. Voting is one way that can happen.
On average, 75-80% of registered voters don’t vote in our Kenai Peninsula Borough elections. Our next election in the borough and municipalities is Tuesday, Oct. 5.
You can vote by mail, vote early, go to the polls — just VOTE! Stand up and honor America’s roots.
Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes.