“A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.” ~Bill Vaughan
The United States is one month away from making another future-altering decision in its leadership. Every four years this decision is made, but it is my personal belief that this election is going to be more important than any other election (until this point) in my lifetime.
I will not hide the fact that I am NOT a fan of Trump. Am I a supporter of Clinton? Well, I can’t claim that she was my first choice – I have yet to decide if I ever had a first choice in this election to begin with – but I will say that I will NEVER vote for someone whose ignorance and/or rhetoric, I believe, will put ANY of the members of my nation in physical and/or emotional danger.
All of that being said, I am NOT going to ask you to vote for one candidate over the other. These may be my personal beliefs, my perceptions of these two people, but it does not mean that they should be yours.
I am going to ask you to form your own, educated opinion of these two candidates, and make an educated vote.
“Give a loaded revolver to an infant and a vote [for] an ignorant man, and the second crime is worse than the first.” ~Austin O’Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898
As an American (though a rather meager, seemingly unimportant one, I will admit) I feel that it is my duty to encourage all of my US readers (those who are of age) to VOTE. It is so important, now more than ever, that you make your voice heard.
It is so easy to say, “oh, I’m not a huge fan of either of the candidates, so I am going to abstain this time,” or, “I don’t know much about either of the candidates, I’m not a big fan, so I’ll just stick with my party,” or “well, I hate s0-and-so, I will never vote for him/her because he/she sucks, so I guess that means I’m voting for the other guy/gal.”
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE CANDIDATES AND THEIR PLANS.
USE YOUR VOTE!!!
“I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.” ~Alexander Woollcott
Voting ignorantly is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Have an opinion – educate yourself on the candidates and where they stand on the issues. There are many websites that are great for this; I know not everyone has time to do some heavy-duty research. There are websites designed to give unbiased, fact-only information on each candidate and their stance on the issues. <– That’s the link to one of them, I was just being sneaky 😉
Make the most educated decision you possibly can for yourself. Voting is quite the conundrum; it is both very personal and very public. Personal, because it is a decision you must make for yourself, in private, by deciding who you believe will be the best leader for your future and the future of your country. But it is also OUR country; a country shared by millions. Voting is public because it is a decision that is going to, ultimately, affect everyone. Some far more than others.
How might the vote affect you?
I ask you to educate yourself because the rhetoric that has become a part of politics is often hard to see through. People make promises, sometimes very tempting ones, but what is behind them? Is the political candidate actually answering the questions asked to him or her with reasonable, practical answers – are they providing ACTUAL solutions to problems? How much of what he or she is saying is to “sound good” and how much of it is practical? Can these solutions feasibly be put into play during their four years in office? In the near future?
It is so easy to sit back and laugh at the media’s projection of the candidates – scorn them for the clips of quotes that are provided to you by biased individuals who are trying to frame a story in a certain light. REMEMBER that everyone has their own opinion, and while they are absolutely entitled to it, people in the “spotlight” have a greater opportunity to put their opinion in your face. Turn on the TV and there it is.
This is why it is so important to form your own educated opinion based on facts and NOT another person’s opinion!
If you are not registered to vote and are eligible – do it now! Registering to vote takes hardly any time at all. Do keep in mind that for many states you must first vote in-person in your district before being eligible for absentee voting (meaning they send your ballot to you via mail if you aren’t able to vote in-person. This is something you would also apply for online!)
In fact, I’ve done you a favor. The links to voting registration for EVERY STATE are below.
If you are not registered, please do so now. Like I said before, this election especially is SO IMPORTANT. Let your voice be heard. So many people convince themselves that their one vote is unimportant – it won’t make a difference – but when thousands of people all make that decision for themselves, that’s thousands of votes that could make a HUGE different. Your vote IS IMPORTANT.
So make it.
“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.” ~Walter H. Judd
Register to Vote:
Keep in mind that registration deadlines are coming up! Register now!
North Dakota -> You don’t need to register in this state as long as you meet all the requirements!
*Mail or in-person registration ONLY
**Must get forms in-person