In the normal course of life, I tend to avoid politics as a topic of conversation. Not because I don’t enjoy a good round of healthy debate (after all, I majored in Political Science), but because it usually turns into a very unhealthy argument. At the center of every political debate are some pretty strict core values, values that most people retain for their entire life. Talking politics just brings those disagreements to the surface, leaving people upset and frustrated that the other person won’t just “see reason” and change their mind. However, since this is my blog, I’m going to talk a little about politics.
Today’s topic of conversation, if you couldn’t already figure it out from the title, is voting. Why? Because it is Election Day in the United States and I am of the belief that Election Day is one of the most important days of the year.
I won’t ever talk politics on this blog in a way that tells you what to do. I’m not here to tell people what to believe, how things should be, or who to vote for. But in a democracy, voting is a civic responsibility and casting a ballot is your right as a citizen. I am here to convince you of that.
When you are fortunate enough to live in a country where you have the privilege of electing your government officials, it is your responsibility to take advantage of that opportunity. Our government reflects our choices and if we don’t make those choices, then we’ve given up our say in how our lives are run. No one should give up that right voluntarily; you should cling to it for the treasure that it is, cherish the freedom of choice, and be the change you want to see.
And still, millions of people in this country don’t vote. Either they forget, they don’t care, or maybe the ballot doesn’t have any “important” positions on it. But every elected official is important and so is every election – primary, special, or general. The people we vote for become judges in our courts, members of school boards who set curriculum guidelines, state and national representatives to Congress or the Senate… they make choices that trickle down to the common man.
Want a new stop sign on your street? Care to know what the safety standards are on your car? What about protections from unsafe foods and contagious diseases? The government has a hand in all of those things and many more, but if you want a say in those actions than you need to exercise your right to choose the people who will carry the burden for you. Elections aren’t just about presidents and governors; it’s about the people who look out for you and your community on a daily basis, the ones who take care of the small stuff.
Women and minorities fought for their right to vote and many more people immigrated to this country for the same freedom. The right to vote is extended to every citizen born or naturalized in this country (over the age of eighteen) and it’s important that we recognize that for the privilege that it is. People before us struggled to have what is simply handed to us and we have to honor that by actually going out and voting. Don’t let their struggle got to waste; take advantage of the privilege that you’ve been granted.
Go to the polls today. Please.