I don’t think it’s any secret that I favor President Obama over his opponent, Governor Romney. Of course, I have a vested interest in seeing things like rights for women, rights for gays, keeping jobs in this country and healthcare accessiblity go the way that i think they should. I deeply, deeply want this president to win. So there’s my bleeding heart, socialist bias.
But, it really bugs me when I hear people say that it “doesn’t matter” if they vote, or “the two parties are the same, so it doesn’t make a difference,” or … anything that is contrary to voting at all.I am already an incredibly strong believer in voting and the right to vote and how much it means. Women didn’t the vote until the early 20th century. Many black people *technically* had the right to vote, but they were disenfranchised at every turn and often with threats of fear and violence. I was always taught that being involved in our political system was a huge thing to be taken seriously. So, I have that background.
I know this is a weird way to get hit with the gravity of our right (and duty) to vote, but let me tell you a story — I was flipping channels the other day and there was a show on called “The Changing of the White House” or something like that. It was about the White House Staff and how they flip around the White House in less than 2 days after an inauguration. It’s crazytown. I was upset at first — “Why are they showing this? Do they mean to intimate that they’ll be changing the White House over in a week? Better not.” And then I heard one of the long time staffers say something that impacted me profoundly. He said something to the effect that it’s a testament to our democracy that we have such seamless transitions of power, without violence or mayhem.
And my world was rocked for a second. That’s right, we do. Even in the most ridiculous of election grabs (GWB, anyone?), there still weren’t people rioting in the streets or trying to overthrow the government. Maybe that’s not as good of a thing as I want it to be, but by and large, I think it is. I think it’s a great good that we believe in democracy enough to let it do its job. However, it can ONLY do its job if we do ours — if we vote! I know that both Obama and Romney look and feel similar enough to some people to let them leave them both behind. But there *are* other candidates and there are other things to vote on besides the office of the President. Many of them are initiatives and laws in your own state and city. Please don’t think it doesn’t matter. It so very much does.