Determining a vision for the future

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The month of October is one of several important dates in the history of the United States.

Yesterday marked exactly 242 years since the First Continental Congress sent a petition to King George III, outlining some of the grievances the colonists endured under British rule. Today marks 240 years since founding father Benjamin Franklin set sail for France to negotiate a formal alliance. Although the alliance would not become official until 1778, Franklin was a partial catalyst behind one of the biggest turning points in the Revolutionary War — securing aid to win the war.

These dates are often forgotten, but they recall a pivotal moment in the history of America. Without the events that occurred on these dates, the nation’s outlook could have been a lot different.

Fast-forward to Oct. 26, 2016, and American citizens are on the precipice of yet another pivotal moment in this country’s history. In two weeks, voters will head to the polls to make some big decisions about the next four years.

At the national level, pollsters have to choose between the lesser of two evils it seems, unless they pull the lever for a third-party candidate. Candidates at the state level are lining up along party lines, and the fight between Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper serves as a microcosm of the Democratic-Republican struggle.

At the local level, voters must assess which candidates to place in seats that will closely affect daily life, from the school board and Board of Commissioners, to district representatives.

As voters prepare to exercise their civic duty, take a moment to remember the occurrences of 240 or more years ago. This election year has been one of the more divisive ones, and it leaves many questions still to be answered.

What is the desired vision for the country, and who’s going to make it a reality? Where is the country headed — at all levels? What are the potential long-term effects of a particular candidate choice?

Voters: decide carefully and realize the gravity of the situation. This is a pivotal moment.