In Which I Get Vaguely Political
I don’t know about you, but I am really, really ready for this election cycle to end. I’m sick of the ads, the rhetoric, and the constant mud-slinging and stance-shaming going on from all parties. I’m sick of being told I’m not A enough if I don’t vote for B, or because I’m a X, I should vote for Y. I don’t like being told what to do to begin with (does anyone?), so even when this comes from the people who support the candidates I intend on voting for, it makes me furious.
Here’s the thing. No matter how annoyed you are, no matter how disinterested in politics, none of it trumps the fact that you’re an American citizen (and if you aren’t, hey, contest in the blog post below!). This is your country, and these elections are likely the only say you get in how your country is run. That’s what a representative democracy is: we vote for our elected officials who make decisions for us.
It’s kind of like choosing your parent. Together, as individual states and as a country, we’re voting for the people who are going to tell us what to do for the next two/four/six years (depending on which office they hold). We’re voting for the people who are going to be making decisions on our behalf. And we can’t change our minds for another two/four/six years.
I know you’re probably sick of hearing about it. Like I said above, I am, too. But this election is important. Every election is. If you’re registered to vote, please do so. It may take a few minutes of your time; it may take a few hours. But it is still probably the only say you’re going to have in how your town, your county, your state, and your country is run for the next few years.
And whatever your vote is, make sure it is your vote and not someone else’s. Not your family’s vote, not your best friend’s vote, not your favorite celebrity’s vote, not your Twitter/Facebook feed’s vote, but your vote. It’s the only one you’ll have in this election. Make it count.
If you don’t feel confident enough in the issues surrounding your state (proposals, elections, etc.), then you have today and part of tomorrow to educate yourself. It doesn’t take long – a quick internet search should lead you to a list of issues on your ballot tomorrow, and likely a few sites arguing for and against them.
If you’re so sick of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama that you just don’t care what they stand for anymore (or if the only education you’ve had on their stances come from internet memes), then I suggest this site: http://www.isidewith.com/. It will ask you about your opinions on a wide range of issues, and it will give you a list of candidates that best suit your opinions (as well as an issue-by-issue explanation if you click through). There are third party options, and those votes are just as valid and important as a vote for Romney or Obama. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Still with me? Yes? Awesome. I don’t care who you vote for. All I care about is that 1.) You vote, and 2.) Your vote is your vote. There’s a tendency for most of us to feel as if we need to take on the opinions of those around us to fit in and make friends, or to keep our family happy, but the thing is, even if you do vote for “the other guy,” your vote is secret. No one but you will ever know for sure which box you ticked in that booth. The system fails if we give someone else our vote; they have two, and we have none. Not to be cheesy, but countless people have given their lives for us to have this right. Let’s not disappoint them.
Most importantly, don’t disappoint yourself. Vote.