BOTTOM LINE, VOTE! The Best Thing You Can Do

Written by Candace Hardin on November 4, 2014

This is the second article in the Teddy Roosevelt series of quotes applicable to today’s events.

Teddy Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

This quote is very appropriate to one of the most important and sacred duties of an American citizen.

Tomorrow is November 4th, Midterm Election Day, the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community and your country.

Voting is a privilege, not a right. Many have died defending that privilege, and yet it often unused or worst misused.

Registering to vote gives everyone a chance to participate in the mechanics of our government.

It gives a roll for the courts to call on when justice is to be meted out. Jurors are drawn from registered voters. The right to a jury trial is a very important part of our American Justice System.

Many claim that their one vote is of little consequence, but many votes gathered together can make an enormous difference in who wins the race, especially in a straight run off when the strength of the majority is the deciding factor.

Going to the polls tomorrow, in this moment of decision, is the best thing you can do. It is the right thing to do. Anyone who refuses to participate in this activity forfeits their right to complain about the problems within the government.

Many are not overly enthralled with the choices. They feel forced to hold their nose and choose the lesser of two evils. This is not a new condition. There is no perfect formula.

Even those who seem a good choice can blow up in your face.

However, the next best thing is the wrong thing, a vote for someone who didn’t pan out under fire, yet duty was observed.

Finally, in the moment of decision, the worst thing you can do is nothing.

This was never more evident than in the 2012 presidential election.

Many voters couldn’t get their head around the opposition to the incumbent president, and found any excuse to justify their dereliction of civic duty:

They wanted Ron Paul. They weren’t sure about a Mormon, and were unwilling to research the matter themselves.

He was just another moderate rich guy who couldn’t relate to the average Joe. (Never mind that he was a businessman of a sterling reputation, a family man and professed Christian.)

So, in doing nothing, by indecision and self-righteousness, the status quo remained and everyone has suffered more than anyone could have possibly realized.

In the words of Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”



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Candace Hardin
Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.