The following letter was shared with MyRye.com by Philip J Cicchiello of Walnut Street in Rye. Have a point of view? Post a comment or submit a letter to MyRye.com.
By Philip J Cicchiello
I voted today [election day]
The time was a little after 11 this morning. I just got back from voting at Rye city hall. I vote every year, even though the numbers are against me as a conservative republican in New York.
For years I have been told that poverty is the problem with our society. (Our present politicians even tell us they want to “redistribute the wealth” to make it a better society.) I have never really agreed with that. I have always felt that education, or the understanding on how to educate yourself, was the key.
Thomas Jefferson said “It is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”
Today I had this belief reinforced. While voting at my “anything but private” private booth, I stood a few feet away from a young woman in her mid thirties. She was on a cell phone having a conversation with someone. She was getting advice, or should I say, direction on who to vote for. I know this because I overheard her say, “OK, so I should vote for” so and so, time and time again. What a sad commentary on our society, and on the residents of Rye to be specific, that an adult cannot think for themselves, that they couldn’t educate themselves before getting to the polls. With all the resources available today to keep you informed and educated such as newspapers, TV, cable news, the Internet. I am pretty sure the public had some notice about this election. For God’s sake, the public library is less than 100 yards from the polls.
Voting is the only way our politicians seem to hear us. I know from personal experience they don’t want to listen to us, especially if we don’t agree with them. This past year I have called Suzi Oppenheimer’s office several times to get one question answered. It was a simple question. I gave them my name, home phone, cell phone, address, and e-mail. I have never been contacted.
I spoke with Nita Lowey twice this year. When I asked her a question on the new health care legislation and her vote she either lied to me or was completely uninformed on the facts. I don’t know which because when I tried to talk with her, all I got was a smile and “we’ve got to go…I’ll call you.” She had the time to come to my son’s school carnival and ask for my vote. She even asked me to “tell all your friends to vote for me”. But when I wanted to ask her questions, off she ran. These are the people we want to represent us, to represent our interests, ideas, ideals, and goals for the future? I don’t think so. I for one, am following the famous words, ”vote the bums out!”