I'm sure we're all aware that elections were recently a thing.
Everyone was posting their "I voted" stickers, urging others to get to the polls, and making their last attempts at rallying for their favorite candidates.
Just about everyone who did at least one of these things actually voted, and if you didn't, I am upset with you for not voting.
Voting is a part of our democracy, and if you don't vote, you don't really have a democracy.
You have the power and privilege to pick who represents you in the government. You are given an immense responsibility, and by not voting, you're basically disrespecting your nation, your government, your fellow citizens, and history itself.
In case you slept through every history lesson ever, not everybody has been able to vote throughout this nation's history.
Women and people of color fought very hard for the rights to vote, and even today people of color can face voter suppression.
Do you really want all of that hard work throughout history to go to waste?
Let's say that part of history doesn't apply to you, though. What if you didn't vote because you didn't have the time or you feel your vote didn't matter?
First of all, most states have some kind of law or rule on employers letting you leave to go vote. Some will even continue to pay you during the time you're off at the polls.
Also, polling stations didn't close at 5 p.m. on election day. If you had school or work, you could have taken time in the evening to go cast your vote. As long as you were in line before 8 p.m., you were still able to vote. If you couldn't make it on election day, you could have gone during the early voting period that 37 (and D.C.) offered. Some states will even offer absentee ballots that so you can just mail your vote in.
Unless it's a major issue, you had no reason to not make it out.
Second, every voice matters in a democracy.
If every single person who said their vote 'doesn't matter' actually voted, it would probably make a drastic change in election outcomes.
Think of your vote like a drop of water in a lake: yes it might seem small, but if countless people said taking one drop out didn't matter, all those drops taken out would start to add up and it would make a huge difference.
Being able to vote in this country is a major responsibility. You get to say who represents you in all levels of government, and by not voting, you're saying you don't care about this country or how it's run.
Yes, your candidate might not always win, but you are:
1. Putting your voice out there about what you want to see in your government.
2. Showing a candidate you support them and encouraging them to run again.
3. And, you're showing every last bit of this country—from the everyday citizen to the most powerful politicians—that you care about this nation and the type of government system we have.
You have the ability to change and keep people in power who represent you and your interests. You have power in this nation and should put it to use when you have the opportunity.
By not taking that opportunity, I am so going to judge you and make sure you know to do better.
Also, if you complain about the outcome of an election you didn't vote in, maybe you should go vote next time.
Just a thought...