In these politically polarized times, we should all agree on one thing:
I understand why some people think voting isn’t worth the effort. It requires either a trip to your polling place or going through the process of early or absentee balloting. The effect isn’t immediately apparent. You tend not to have the option of voting for a clone of yourself who will solve all of the problems in an ideological vacuum.
In other words, voting isn’t the sexiest mechanism. It won’t accomplish everything that people often project upon it as an ideal. But ultimately, it’s what matters most directly. You can stand on the sidewalk all day and scream your lungs out, and it might (might) attract substantial attention, but it won’t count at the ballot box. All the fervor in the world won’t put your candidate in office if enough people don’t contribute to the count.
Say what you want about the supposed influence of big money and big power on elections (and there is much to say about that), but ultimately all those millions are spent and all those favors are done for a single purpose — to attract votes. Because those votes are what allow leaders to assume, and maintain, power.
The fact is, there are people who want others to not vote. They know their own vote matters, and they want it to matter more by discouraging turnout among their ideological opponents. Don’t fall for it. Whatever you believe in, stand up and be counted.
It’s often said, “If you don’t vote, you don't have a right to complain.” The good news is, you can do both in America.