To Everyone Who Isn't Voting

To Everyone Who Isn't Voting

You were given a voice -- use it.
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I don't understand people who claim they don't care about politics. Do you have to be up-to-date on them 24/7? No. Do you have to like them? Absolutely not. I don't particularly enjoy politics; but I do know they're important. Saying that you don't care about politics is basically saying you don't care about your future life. You see, we've been born into this thing called a democracy. And although our government isn't perfect, we've been given the liberty to elect the people that govern our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't planning to vote in the upcoming election. To everyone out there that isn't planning to vote, I have something to say to you.

My vote won't make a difference. "So and so is going to win anyway, so why bother?" A democracy is representative -that's the whole point. It is representative of the majority of the country's votes and beliefs. But it isn't going to be representative if you don't cast your vote. I frequently hear young adults saying that they aren't voting because it won't make a difference, when in fact, there are 44 million Millenials that are eligible to vote. My generation is also the most diverse group of voters thus far. If you still think your vote can't make a difference, just talk to Al Gore about the presidential election in 2000. Had the votes been counted properly in Florida for the 2000 election, it is highly likely that Al Gore would have won Florida, won the popular vote, the electoral college vote, and been appointed to office instead of George Bush.

A few hundred votes is all that it took to change the course of history.

I don't like any of the candidates. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it doesn't matter whether you like any of them or not, because one of them is going to end up in office. You can either have a president that will completely screw everything up, or you can vote for the one you hate the least. It seems like most Americans don't know this based on the latest poll numbers, but we don't just vote for the president. You also have the power to vote for Congress, and the president can't get much done without working alongside Congress. With less than 40 percent of eligible voters showing up for the last midterm election, your vote can really make a difference.

"Popular vote doesn't matter, electoral college decides who the president is." Well, guess what. The people that make up the electoral college? We voted for them at one point, too. The electoral college doesn't just vote for a random candidate. Unless you live in Nebraska or Maine, the electoral college chooses the candidate with the most popular votes in that respective state. So yes, if you don't go vote for your party's candidate, there is a chance that the other party's candidate will win the popular votes and electoral college votes. Which is why you should go vote.

It doesn't affect me. If this is your reasoning, you should probably go back to your high school government class. No matter what your age group, decisions made up on the hill are going to affect your life in one way or another. From student loans to Social Security, gay rights or gun control -- politics impact you. Politics impact you, me, your grandma, and your future children.

I haven't been following the race. I don't know whether or not you've heard of it, but there's this wonderful tool out there called the Internet. Even if you haven't been keeping up with the debates on TV, it's not too late to get up-to-date on the nation's current politics. In fact, now is the perfect time, because there are fewer candidates in the mix. I'll even help you; that's how much I care. If you're looking for something easy, there's this quiz that will tell you which candidate aligns most closely with your values (it will rank all of the others as well). If you'd like to learn about all of the candidates before making your decision, try here. Or get on Google and do a little bit of research on your own.

I'm too busy. This one sounds ridiculous, I know. But it's one of the top reasons that people don't come to the polls. You're telling me that at the very least, you can't take the time out of one day of the year to vote for the next President of the United States of America? If you're not going to be in the county (or even in the state) on election day, you can apply for an absentee ballot to be sent to you in the mail. All you have to do is apply online, wait til it comes in the mail, fill in the circle by your candidate's name, and mail it back.

At the very least, it's your duty as a citizen of this country to vote for the public office. You shouldn't be enjoying the benefits of our representative government if you're not going to participate in it. If you or someone you know hasn't registered to vote or isn't planning to vote, I urge them to reconsider.

We've been given a voice, and the power to express that voice.

Don't waste it.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Sentinel

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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