How can I get my friends to vote?

On November 6, 2018, Some Things May Change, But Don't Let Your Friendship(s) Be One Of Them

Friendship is worth more than how you will vote on election day.

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As I'm sure the vast majority of you reading this are aware, November 6, 2018, is election day for the midterm elections of 2018.

Voting is important, but so is respect.

For everyone, regardless of your political viewpoint, this is an important election. As per usual, people are posting about their voting plans on social media, and of course, there are people who are claiming that anyone who disagrees with them or dares to vote for the opposing candidate is not welcome on their timeline or in their life. This is so sad to me, so I want to encourage you that no matter what might change after November 6, don't let your friendships be one of them.

Friendship is a remarkable thing and it is scary that something as simple as an election can mess up these friendships. But let's be real about something for a second-do you and your friend agree on every single thing? Probably not. You probably have differing tastes in music. You probably have different favorite foods. I'm sure you don't share a favorite TV show or agree on what temperature the thermostat should be on. I know what you're thinking- that those things are petty compared to our country's future and the leaders we elect. And yes, maybe so, but that doesn't change what these things all boil down to a differing opinion. It seems like it is acceptable to disagree on anything else, but the second you disagree on politics, well there goes the friendship. But that isn't how it should be. We should be encouraging people to be friends with those who disagree with them. How else are you supposed to grow if your viewpoint is never challenged? Wouldn't your world be insanely boring if you only ever met people who agree with you on everything?

At the end of the day, true friends will accept you no matter what.

I'm not asking you to change your viewpoints or opinions to match your friends' viewpoints or opinions. But what I am asking is for you to not turn away from those differing opinions and cast that person out of your life simply for their way of thinking is different than yours. Friendship is important, so if a friend is a good friend, don't lose that simply because you couldn't stand the thought of them voting for someone other than who you're voting for.

When you wake up on November 7, you will probably be either really happy, really sad, somewhere in the middle, or not really caring at all. Regardless of how you feel, there will be people who feel the opposite of you. Some of those, unless you've banished them from your life, will be your friends. And if they're true friends, they'll still be your friends regardless of how this election goes. So please, realize that there are people in this world who disagree with you. Some of them might even be your friends.

I just hope that you are still willing to call them your friend no matter how this election may go.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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