I’m angry. I’m disillusioned. I’m cynical. With that said, I’m idealistic, motivated, and I like to think of myself as a catalyst for change.
Today, November 2nd, represented a chance for 300 million Americans to voice their opinion regarding the country’s current state of affairs. It represented a chance to use a right bestowed upon each person. It represented an opportunity to hold those in office accountable for their actions. It represented a chance to say something, to do something, to express passions held closely to each person’s heart. I’m talking about education, health care, equal rights, and national security not to mention the countless other issues on ballots across the country. Today, many Americans, even people I hold near to my heart, chose not to exercise this right that countless others have fought for everyone to have.
Every person that didn’t vote took away my voice, my chance to say something, my chance to hold people in office accountable for the effect their choices have had on me. I am unable to vote because I am not a citizen. This is not by choice but because the process for becoming a citizen is one that is covered with red-tape, time consuming, and cost-prohibitive ($765). Even though I am denied this opportunity, I anxiously await the election season because I count on each and every person I know who has the ability to speak for me, use their voice to help those who are without, shout from the mountain tops “I have something to say!”
Now I know that naturalized citizens (those not born here but have become citizens) are less likely than natural-born citizens to vote and researchers have provided reasons for this pattern but I hoped that due to recent political events (i.e. Arizona SB1070) has inspired naturalized and natural-born citizens alike to go out to the polls. Watching the dismal political returns this evening however, suggests otherwise.
If you’re reading this and you didn’t vote and you’re regretting your decision, it’s too late this time around. You’ve missed your chance to make a difference but know that you can commit to voting next time around. Read, listen, engage in debates, challenge your friends, enemies, and those in between. Educate yourself because it’s necessary.
If you’re reading this and you’ve voted, thank you. From the bottom of my heart I admire your ownership of the responsibility bestowed upon you. With that said, many people around you probably didn’t. I challenge you to start brainstorming creative ways to get your friends to vote (i.e. Votergasm). We’re all responsible. Present company included. I should have done more, and I didn’t. I’m just as culpable as the non-voters I’m writing about.
I’ll close with saying that if you didn’t vote I’m disappointed by your actions and I’d love to know why (if you’re willing to share of course). But I make a promise to myself and the countless others who are unable to vote that I will participate in our country’s next election. I will make my voice heard. I will say something, do something; I will express passions held closely to my heart.
I will shout from the mountain tops “I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY” and I will have said it loudly.
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” Lyndon B. Johnson quotes (American 36th US President)