So I Voted Today…
When I first created this blog, it wasn’t my intention to write about politics or religion or any other ideologies on this site and I made it my personal policy not to do so. I wanted this site to focus on personal and professional growth. After all, there are plenty of sites out there already that do a fine job of reporting on those types of topics. But, after careful deliberation, I’ve decided to go against the grain on this policy and sound off on something that I think needs to be said.
I’ve voted in every election for as long as I’ve been of age to do so. Sometimes I wonder why but when I am in the booth filling in little circles next to names of men and women I’ve never heard of, I don’t wonder at all. The reason I continue to vote is simple: Because I can.
If you know me at all, you know that I apply logic and probability to almost every situation I am in. I’m like Rain Man that way. With that in mind, it actually makes little sense to participate in the voting process. Think of it this way: In the state of Michigan, about 3.5 million people are expected to cast votes today. I think that the odds are pretty remote that my participation will have any influence on the outcome. Combine that with the bleak chance that the results of the election are going to have any impact on my life one way or the other and you’ve got a formula for a pretty unproductive use of 30 minutes of my time.
But there’s another factor at play. And it’s a pretty simple one. The fact of the matter is this: This country is founded on the principle of public servants – elected representatives of our interests. Politicians are supposed to be one of us. A person that we collectively chose to send into government to make laws that accomplish the things we stand for. The system isn’t perfect, but it’s what we have.
Hundreds of years ago, people came to this land to escape the oppression and tyranny of the governments of their homelands. They later fought and won the right to create their own country with their own laws. They put a system of democratically elected people of the people in place to make sure that the dictatorships and monarchies of the lands they came from don’t take place here. Since then, literally millions of American People have signed up to fight and risk death and worse to defend our right to decide. To not vote, or to say it doesn’t matter is to denigrate the sacrifice that they made.
I vote because the system still works. Yes, the government is corrupted to the point of saturation. Yes, many politicians today are greedy, fear mongering power grabbers soullessly indebted to the powers that be that got them elected in the first place. Yes, those politicians truly only retain one common motivation, and that is to position themselves and their party to retain power as long as possible and by any means necessary.
But the system still works. It’s been proven definitively twice in the past four decades: In 1976 when Gerald Ford, successor to Richard Nixon, lost to Jimmy Carter; and just recently in the past four years, when America systematically removed the Republican Party from the controlling position they held and elected an overwhelming amount of Democratic candidates into the House, the Senate and the Presidency.
Think about it. We still hold the power to change our future. While the system is in dire need of repair and perhaps an overhaul, it’s power is undeniable. Without it, The United States of America would still be under Republican rule, with George W. Bush seeking his 6th consecutive term in office. Don’t believe me? Look at Russia. Look at China. Look at virtually any country in the Middle East or Africa. Did the people of pre-2003 Iraq ever have a legitimate shot at ousting Saddam Hussein from power? Do the the poor people of African nations plagued with AIDS and poverty have any chance at installing honorable people to represent their best interests? I bet they would just love the chance to decide their own fate and in whom to place their faith and their trust instead of mercilessly being dictated to.
That, my friends of Republican, Democratic, Green Party, Blue Party, Mario Party, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Jewish, Men, Women, Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi or any other type of background, lifestyle, descent or influence, is why you need to get your ass to the polls and vote. Just do it, and wear your ‘I Voted!” sticker proud.