I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming election. People tell me they are sick of hearing it on the news and tired of the phone calls from campaign volunteers asking who you are going to vote for in November. I could go into an entire speech about who I believe you should vote for and why this election is for the soul of our nation, but instead, the best non-partisan gift I can give you is this: vote.
It's one day in the year where you show up, cast your vote, and if you're lucky, get a "I voted" sticker to share with your friends on social media. It's a day where you, the voter, are the most important person in the world. Yes, you. Your vote matters. I'm not saying this to make you feel good about yourself or for you to feel special (but...is it working?). In all seriousness, I want you to take a moment and think about a world in which not a single person voted. What if someone had your mindset and decided that their vote didn't matter, so they decided to stop voting all together. Would it be the end of democracy? What would come of the election?
What's this? You haven't thought of a world where no one votes. Let's look at 2016. According to Vanity Fair, "0.057 percent of total voters cost Clinton the presidency." Did you vote? If not, you are a member of the 0.057 percent club who completely changed the course of the election...and this country.
Still not convinced? Look at it this way, your vote is your power card. You are voting your representative into office. You are determining the leadership for the country. As citizens, this is our right. If you chose not to exercise that right, we can't stop you, but in a world of power struggles, you are not taking your power to its fullest extent. If you don't vote, we don't want to hear you complain about the future of the country or anything of that nature. Your vote means you want to have a say in how this country moves forward. If you don't vote, do you not care?
For me personally, voting is my civic duty. It is my responsibility to this nation to vote elected officials into office. Running for an elected seat is hard to do, and not many people do it. For those who decide not to run, be the person who decides to vote.
Are you unsure who to vote for? Don't be afraid to research or ask a friend. Being a voter is important, but being an informed voter is even more so. Consider being an informed voter as a civic virtue.
Read. Listen. Learn. Vote. Repeat.
Encourage others to do the same.