There are lots of things that occur in the world that we don’t speak about. We could spend the better part of any day listing all the things that currently see our families, friends and neighbors at odds. Don’t worry, I won’t pester you with a list… I know you’re probably already more than aware of them anyway. But one that I did want to shed light on, for a moment if I may, is voting.
November 6th is just over a week away and if you lean red, blue, purple or green it’s a big deal. I know most people only vote when we’re talking about who the next president will be. They don’t cast a ballot in local elections for “smaller” things. Nor do they even look into who is running for things like governor or open senate seats.
There are many schools of thought on why this is the case. I’ve heard many of them. What’s the point? My vote doesn’t really count. It’s not like things will change anyway. I don’t have time. You may have uttered some of the exact same lamentations when thinking about the prospect of standing in line early or after work to check some boxes on a screen.
But consider that voting is one of the ways we do have a voice. We have a chance to move the needle or change the course of some program or bill or issue that greatly impacts us. And make no mistake…even “smaller” measures impact you!
Also consider that for many people in the world the idea of being able to vote is not exactly a right. Some countries still haven’t given their citizens the right to vote. In some places only men or certain classes are allowed to vote. There are countries where people are still jailed for expressing a political opinion (imagine that happening here… most of our Facebook friends would be behind bars). There are countries where ineffective leaders can’t be removed or it’s nearly impossible to do so. Where decisions based on the overall majority come down solely to the whims and wishes of a few.
For all our flaws (we have plenty) and issues (you’ve seen the news) here in our country we have a chance to cast a vote for our leaders. To tell them what we think about their leadership, or their potential, about their policies or their agenda. We have an opportunity to participate in something that is still important and necessary. Something that is still a big deal. And in 2018 you have a chance to go to your local polling place and take part in the process. To align your values with policies and move the needle just so.
Don’t waste this opportunity. Which so many people have worked for, fought for, marched for, picketed for, lobbied for, and in some cases died for.
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt