Two hundred and thirty years ago, insurgents and propagandists rebelled against the local forces of a distant political and economic master. A war was waged among the people through engravings and pamphlets, often distorting the truth to stoke insurgent flames. They took the fight – kinetic, ideological, and economic – to the shores of the enemy and actively sought support from other countries, notably the enemy of our enemy.

Victory was slow and expensive but born out of it was a federal republic where people voted for their own leaders and set their own destiny. A century later, These United States became The United States as suffrage was expanded. The next century it was expanded again.

Today, it is your obligation, as an American citizen, by birth or not, to vote for a President of the United States of America, local representatives, judges, and of local laws. Regardless of who wins, this vote will prove as historic as any other as the two candidates hold and represent very different beliefs.

Both campaigns waged a war of perception over the “swing-voters” in the middle and against the base of the opponents. Both campaigns will serve as case-studies on how wars of perception are waged. One was focused heavily on discounting and distorting the adversary by creating fear of the Other. The other focused on self-promotion and illustrating differences. One focused on grassroots involvement, a domestic public diplomacy, while the other emphasized insularity, circling the wagons against outsiders.

We’ll see which one wins. Either way, it is your responsibility to vote lest those who tread before, those in uniform and even bureaucrats, toiled and gave their lives in vain. Vote!