Monday, November 1, 2010
I know it's late in the day and most of you probably won't even read this...but I felt compelled to get this blog out there today. I've had a hectic day, but I wanted to make time to urge all of you to exercise your privilege to vote tomorrow - November, 2nd. Election Day.
I know most of you have friends posting the "Who's Gonna Join Me?" voting links on your Facebook wall. We have volunteers calling us from both parties, leaving us messages on our machines telling us to go out and let our voices be heard - to rock the vote. We get it! The message is loud and clear! But is it?
I live in NY, most of you know that...but I'm still registered to vote in PA. My permanent address is listed as Bensalem, PA - and I'd like to keep it that way.
After all, PA is a swing state...so I feel my vote matters more in PA than it does in NY. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel. I fully intended to fill out the absentee ballot - only to find that I had to turn it in at this office by that time in order for my vote to count. Those deadlines weren't met and I was a little too late. So what now?
I thought to myself, "Do I drive ALL THE WAY to PA...JUST to vote? or do I sit this one out?" After all, it's just ONE vote right? Will MY vote really make THAT much of a difference?
I know some of you think that's crazy, but what if EVERYONE thought like me?
No one would show up at the polls...that's what. And that's wrong.
Now again...that is just my opinion - and you all know that I have an opinion about everything - and I fully intend on expressing mine tomorrow. It's not about believing that my ONE vote will change the world. It's more about making an effort to participate in the political process. When it's all said and done and I seriously consider what is at stake, I feel compelled to exercise my privilege with a sense of urgency - and I encourage you all to do the same.
Now of course, I can't MAKE you do anything you don't want to. Perhaps some of you have actively DECIDED NOT to vote. That's your right too. If you've already pondered what's at stake and have decided not to vote, then there's just no getting through to you. You've made up your mind. But remember, NOT voting also renders you mute and insignificant.
Yeah, I said it.
Voting is a privilege that was hard to come by for most of us who read this blog daily. There were many years that women and minorities were not permitted to let their voices be heard in the political arena. People were brutalized and murdered so that you and I can have the luxury of going to the polls to vote, free of charge and without anyone standing in our way. Come to think of it, we don't even have to physically be there to vote...which is what I was hoping would be the case by filling out my absentee ballot in time. But the privilege isn't the only reason to get out and vote tomorrow.
The state of affairs is out of control in this country. Unemployment rates, the war(s), education, housing, energy...you name it. There is still so much that needs to be done...and we need you.
Are you one of the many strange creatures I've heard of that has never voted? Have you been deceived into believing that your vote doesn't count? Well, it does.
Did you know that best way to control a person does not involve force? Discouragement will keep a person from ever trying to do better, despite the fact that they know better. Take off the shackles of your mind and let your voice be heard. If you have ever complained about the current state of affairs in this country (and I know you have), then by all means, either vote - or be quiet. The time to speak is at the polls. Vote now or forever hold your peace. If you're a parent, then this is more of an issue of privilege for you. It's an absolute obligation. A good parent leaves an inheritance for their children. What will your choices pass down? Think about it.
I've decided to make the drive to Philly to cast my vote, and it will be a personal day well spent. Exercise your privilege tomorrow - the time is more urgent than ever.