I voted today! I got up early to go to my designated polling place to make my voice heard. When I arrived I was greeted by a nearly empty parking lot. This was the same polling place where two years ago the parking lot was packed. A polling place where the line stretched around the perimeter of the parking lot. This morning however, the crickets were more plentiful than potential voters. As I left my polling place, I listened to individuals on the calling in to various radio shows detailing why they aren’t voting. Hearing these individuals speak broke my heart. I could not believe these excuses that were being used. Regardless of their excuses, the fact remain that there is no excuse not to vote.
I must confess that I am a bit of a political junkie, however I wasn’t always this way. I have voted in every election since I turned 18, yet I did not become fully interested in the political process or the discourse that comes along with it until the 2000 election cycle. Personally speaking, the debates that eventually produced George W. Bush as the candidate were enthralling to watch. I became captivated by the process, both the good and the bad. As I have aged and matured, I have only gotten worse. Due to my constant indulging in the likes of CSPAN and NPR I may be a bit more educated than the average American on the issues, yet my vote is the same as everyone else. Voting is the great equalizer. The ballot box does not see Black or white nor does it see rich or poor. It is unbiased and fair.
Outside of my aptitude for politics my thirst and eagerness to vote can be traced back to one source, my great-grandmother. She was a woman who was not a political savant, but she was one who grew up in the south. She experience Jim Crow first hand and made it a point to express how important it was to vote, not through her words but by her actions. Before sickness finally incapacitated her, she never missed an election. She never let the politics of the world stop her from exercising the right that so many before her had died trying to get. During many of these elections she took me to the polls and into the voting booth with her. With this gesture she made sure that I knew how important it was to vote. How important it was for my voice to be heard and to honor those who have given so much to us, all of us to have this right.
There is no excuse not to vote! If you don’t know what the candidates stand for or even who is running…. LOOK IT UP! The few precious moments its takes to read this post is enough time to look up who’s running and what they stand for. Some say “Well the pundits have already predicted who’s going to win, so I’m not voting.” The last time I checked, that political pundit is not in the voting booth with you. Only you have the power to make a difference!
Excuses are monuments to nothing and build bridges to nowhere. Those who use those tool of incompetence are fools and masters of nothing! Voting is a fundamental right and privilege that comes with being a citizen. The very aspect of not voting goes against everything that the United States of America stands for, thus it is UNAMERICAN! Think about it, would you rather be a fool who masters nothing as you continue to make excuses for not using you rights or would you rather be a citizen exercising your right and your voice?
At the end of the day nothing really matters but your rights. The Tea party, the economy, the president, none of these are the real issue. The only issue is your right to vote. Its your right, so you and only you can use it! There is no excuse not to vote! Stop the B.S. and get your butt to the polls.
“The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they should live. “
John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. I, p. 161.