Commentary: Voting must be our priority in 2020

Commentary: Voting must be our priority in 2020
January 01
14:10 2020

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Christmas is now over. The celebrations were wonderful and families gathered for a good time. The holiday cookies have been eaten. They’re gone! The television advertisements touting sales of all types have mercifully come to an end.

While the holiday season should be a joyous time, some say that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. Is it because of what I call gift overload? Everybody is buying a gift for everybody. Now even pets get gifts. What do you get a pet rabbit? Back in the day, I had a dog and my dog didn’t get a gift. There was no doggie bag. Let’s just say, times have changed.

When you are in the 4th quarter like many of us are, time seems to be moving along quite fast. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing in the year 2019. Summer was on a jet plane and flew by! Halloween and trick or treat lasted three minutes. In fact, some children still have candy leftovers. Thanksgiving and Christmas were a blur.

The year 2020 has arrived as the ball has dropped signaling a new year. Years ago, we would gather around our black and white television set and watch the ball drop from Times Square in New York. Now, because of technology, we know what is happening for the New Year in other parts of the world. 

I don’t know when New Year’s resolutions started. Some reports say New Year’s resolutions began approximately 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians. Quite honestly, as I was growing up, I didn’t pay any attention to New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because I was having too much fun to give up anything. I, along with my buddies, couldn’t think of anything to give up anyway.

There have been times in recent memory when I have tried. Once I said I was going to give up using my charge card for three months. That resolution lasted for two weeks. Another time, I said I was going to abstain from sweets for a while. That resolution was short-lived as I bought two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They were on sale. Buy one, get one free! They were too good to pass up. 

We are well intentioned about making resolutions for the New Year, but we always fall a little short. The singing group The Impressions had a song entitled, “Keep On Pushing.” Maybe that’s what we should do.

The New Year’s resolution I have for 2020 has been on my agenda for a few years now. It is to vote in the 2020 presidential election. This will be the most important election in my lifetime. There is an expression that has been around for a long time. It is “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Many of us are already sounding the voting bell. We can’t wait until March to get mobilized. His time is up! The country is at stake. Our world and our status in it will be in jeopardy if he remains in office.

All of us who believe in right and that character counts must make our way to the polls. We can’t wait and we can’t hesitate because our vote is too important.

Never have we heard terms like hoax and fake news associated with the White House. Our current POTUS is aligned with dictators and bad people. This president will not change. There will be no epiphany. Every civic organization, every fraternity and every sorority must gear up for this voting showdown. Getting him out of the White House will not be easy. In the last election, over 4 million people stayed at home and didn’t vote. This can’t happen again.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said, “None of this work is going to be easy. Most of it will not be glamorous. But all of it is necessary.” He’s right.

James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years.  He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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