While preparations for the holidays and final exams tend to dominate what little free time people have in December, this year Great Bend had an opportunity to take a moment and reflect on the fact that women fought hard to win a right they’ve only been allowed to exercise for around 100 years. That is the right to vote.
Beginning in early December, a traveling exhibit was installed first in the library of Barton Community College, then moved to the Great Bend High School library, and finally the Great Bend Public Library celebrating 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment.
It’s only coincidental that this reminder of the importance of being allowed one’s voice in determining who will govern comes to Great Bend during a historical moment in our nation’s history — the third time a president has been impeached.
The background noise of this season is filled not just with holiday music from our radios and in every shop we visit, but also with daily news of impeachment hearings and opinions about the motivations of those who support impeachment or those who support the president.
Regardless of what side of the fence which one lands on that topic, (or perhaps squarely on the fence itself), perhaps it’s important to step back and consider that even though the rhetoric is intense, Americans still manage to observe the laws of the land and conduct themselves accordingly, and we predict it will continue to the bitter end of these proceedings.
Some of the sentiments visitors to the 19th Amendment display wrote and posted included, “Vote for what will make our country better,” and “Vote for fair & just rights to all.”
Perhaps taking the time to reconnect with what voting has meant for those without a voice can help guide us as we consider what it means for those of us who today exercise that voice not only at the ballot box, but amongst one another as we gather together.
The main thing to consider is what is best and fair and just for the country. Rather than allowing impeachment itself to dominate our conversations with one another, let that be the focus of our discussions in the coming days.