Alright kids, it's time to talk about voting. The election is right around the corner, and hopefully, all eligible Americans will choose to exercise their right to vote on who they think the new President of the United States should be.
Yeah. It's a big deal.
Some of you may be thinking "duh, of course it's a big deal", but I was in class just a few days ago and overheard a girl talking to her friends about how she wasn't going to vote, which was then followed by several echoes of "Me neither!". And while they have the right to choose not to vote, I couldn't help feeling like they do not understand the significance of voting. I should, however, start by saying that I can relate to where they are coming from. We aren't exactly looking at the cream of the crop as far as candidates go, and they don't want to have to vote for either of them. I get it. I don't really want to either. I've waited all these 18 years to be able to vote, and what are my options? A troll doll and Delores Umbridge. Great. But here's the deal, you don't have to vote for either of them if you don't want to.
There are going to be other names on the ballot.
There's even a nice little write-in part where you can vote for literally anyone you want. You know why? Because we live in a country where we have that freedom. That's the beauty of it all. Voting is your voice in this country. It's your way to speak up and let your voice be heard. Sure, you can post and tweet as much as you want about your political feelings, but it doesn't mean anything unless you go and actually exercise your right to vote. A lot of people think, "I'm just one person. My opinion doesn't matter. My vote won't make a difference." Well guess what? It does matter. It matters immensely. I've already said that your vote is your voice, but it's not just your lone voice. It's the collective voice of the People, and that idea is the very foundation that our country was created upon.
"We the People of the United States..."
Those are the very first words you read on our constitution. And in case the idea of the People isn't clear enough for you, the preamble goes on to explain exactly what that means.
"...in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."
The People began the United States. They were oppressed under the rule of a king, they were mistreated, and they were tired of it. They new the value of their voice, and the value of a country that allows its voice to be heard.
Voting is your civic duty.
Yes. I know we've all heard it, but do we all really get it? This country didn't come cheap. Freedom isn't free, my friends. People fought so hard for America to become it's own nation. To be separated from the rest. For the first time there was the possibility of Democracy, and that was unprecedented. There were countless sacrifices made for the U.S. to become its own free nation, and there are countless sacrifices still being made to keep that freedom. Many have died and many more have put there lives on the line for your vote. Your voice.
Don't tell me it doesn't matter. And don't tell me that you could say to the veteran who is having to learn how to live without their legs, that their sacrifice wasn't enough for your vote. Or that you could say to the little girl who is having to grow up without her daddy, that his life wasn't enough for your vote. Just don't.
Don't tell me that your vote isn't worth it. If it wasn't worth it, there wouldn't be so many people who have fought for it. The fight didn't end with soldiers in the battlefield. There were others who had to continue to fight for that vote even after America was established, and their battle was just as hard won. Because of Women's Suffrage and the Civil Rights movement, no American can be denied the right to vote due to race, color, or gender. You can find the proof of their fight in the 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments of our Constitution. Their vote, Our vote, mattered to them. Who are we to say that their fight was for nothing?
So many people have fought for that vote. What if all of them had just said, "my voice doesn't matter"? America wouldn't even be a nation. The thought of voting or not voting wouldn't even be an option for you. There wouldn't be one. No People. No voice. Nothing. And there are many countries who are still having to live like that. Do you know how many people would give anything to have that vote that you're just going to pass up? We have a right to vote, but more than that, we have a responsibility. And I fear that for many Americans, the weight of that doesn't click. If we continue to let ourselves be indifferent and teach our children to be indifferent, eventually the voice of the American people will no longer be heard. Sure, you also have the right not to vote. But when you don't vote, you not only stifle your own voice but the voice of the People; your fellow Americans now and all the ones who have come before you. Please vote.
Use your voice.
We're all the same behind that voting curtain. We are the People.