In the United States, today is Election Day.
And, if you live in the United States, you’ve probably been hearing from all sorts of people, from politicians to celebrities to news personalities, that you should go out and vote. Well, I’m not gonna be any different.
No, I take that back. The difference here is, yes, I’m telling you to go out and vote, but I certainly don’t have the kind of reach that a politician or a celebrity or a news personality is going to have.
I’m also not going to tell you how to vote. I won’t try to convince you to vote one way or the other in this midterm election. Because I don’t care how you identify yourself or whether you consider yourself affiliated with a political party.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m torn in my opinion about this democratic republic under which we are governed. On the one hand, we have this incredible system in place that allows anyone and everyone over a certain age to voice their opinion on the first Tuesday in November (and, most years, more often than that). But it also means that any idiot can go out and voice their opinion on the first Tuesday in November.
I’m not saying I believe the right to vote should be taken away from any individuals. Please hear me on that. As a citizen of the United States, your vote is a fundamental right and privilege that you should not take for granted.
When I make the statement that any idiot can voice their opinion, I mean that there are going to be a lot of people visiting the polls who have no idea what or who they’re voting for. And this is the part where I implore people to do some research before casting that all important vote.
Don’t vote for someone just because you want to see one political party get ahead of the other. Don’t vote for someone just because that’s the party your parents always voted for and so that’s the party that you’re gonna vote for. Don’t vote for someone just because a certain actor or musician got on Twitter and told you that’s who they were gonna vote for. Don’t vote for someone just because it’s what your friends are doing and you don’t want to make waves in your social circle.
Vote for someone because they champion the causes that you yourself would champion if you were in their shoes. Vote for someone because you believe in what they’re trying to achieve. Vote for someone because you know that they have the best interest of their constituents (you) in mind over the interests of political action committees and corporations who may or may not have provided them with funding for their campaigns.
Maybe asking people to research their options on Election Day is too little, too late. But heed these words before the next election. Do your research. It’s all out there. What can’t you find on Google, anyway? When you go to your local voting precinct, make an INFORMED decision. It’s really not as simple as checking a box. There’s a lot of weight to that one, simple action.