Guys, a lot has gone down this week in regards to voting, obvi. To vote, not to vote, a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on it and that’s fine. To me, I feel like it is my duty to vote. It wasn’t so long ago that women and people of color were not allowed to vote in this country and a lot of people had to suffer so that I could so easily march up to a booth and cast a ballot. I’m not going to get into a whole diatribe about it but I just have something small to say. To people who don’t believe in voting, I support you…I don’t get you but I support you. We all have the right in this country to make up our own minds. The voting system isn’t perfect. The two party system sucks. Politicians have always f’d up, made mistakes and/or been crooked and it’s probably never going to be different in some respects. We SHOULD have a better system, but this is the sytem we have right now and me personally, I want to have a say in what goes on in my country. I live here, I work here, I pay taxes here, I want to have a right to say what goes on here. I don’t agree with the Electoral College. I think that the Popular Vote should be the deciding factor…BUT how are we going to get that changed if we don’t at least show up to the polls. The more people that show up the polls, the more power we have in grassroots uprisings against shit like that. If we show the government that we’re getting up and voting and then we’re using our voices by writing to our Congressmen, Senators and Governors, etc they’re more apt to stand up, take notice and listen to the people. I am all for grassroots organizing. I am all for volunteering for civil rights, animal rights, environmental rights, etc, etc, etc. I do it myself. I try to lead a life that I can be proud of by doing my part. I reduce, reuse, recycle. I unplug appliances. I turn off lights. I take public trans to and from work and school. I adopt animals rather than buy them. I try to only buy what I need. I am cutting down on the amounts of plastic and paper I use all of the time. I am a vegetarian, which contributes to animal rights and environmental protection. I donate money to worthy causes. I volunteer my time for causes I believe in. I write to my government to try to get laws passed and yes…I vote. I vote in local elections, I vote in state elections, I vote in national elections. I go to rallies to support things I believe in…Let’s just say I do my part. I am saying all of this for a reason (and it’s not to toot my own horn, although *pat on back, Coleen*).
So, I’m just saying this because I was disappointed by one person this week who, in the midst of this historic victory has decided to spout off a bunch of negativity that is, to me, what is wrong with this nation. I won’t repost it here but it was enough to make me at the very least roll my eyes. A lot of people in this country have a lot of ideas that are positive but then on election day, opt to sit home and spread negativity rather than going out and doing something about it. I don’t care who you vote for. I just feel like if you’re going to have an opinion and voice it, then say it out loud and then do it at the polls. I agree that it sucks that we sometimes have to vote for someone we’re not in love with. But you now what? That’s life. I think in some ways, it’s really rather nice that some people are so crazed by the fact that they don’t love a candidate that they won’t and can’t vote. It shows that they are truly disturbed by the state of our country and truly bothered by bureaucracy and “politicking”. I feel like it’s EXACTLY those kinds of people who should be at the polls casting a vote. It’s EXACTLY those kinds of people who are passionate that we need to be showing up at the polls…NOT the kind of people who decide a candidate because someone else tells them to. It’s just kind of a sad day when someone who obviously has a lot to say, chooses to do it on a myspace bulletin board rather than at the polls because for some reason it seems to him that his voice will be heard louder there than in our government. I don’t know whether that says more about the person or the way things are run but it’s definitely food for thought I guess.
Anyway, one of this guy’s platforms against voting (and anyone who happened to disagree with him) was that he raises about $5,000 annually for various charities and “probably does more” than anybody else (who vote). According to what he had to say, there are two types of people: those who vote (and therefore consider themselves enlightened/deified but don’t do anything else for this country) and those who don’t (and actually do things that make a difference like raising $5,000 for various charities). I really truly applaud him for his efforts but his mistake is to assume that he is the only one out there doing such things. We can all make a difference AND still go cast a vote on election day and it makes no one more of a patriot than the other. It just means that in this country, we’re free to decide our own fates and THAT is the exact reason that I vote. It’s my right and so I choose to, just like it’s his right to post a bulletin that I don’t agree with. But then, it’s also my right to disagree is it not? And there you have it.