Posted on September 25th, 2018 by Zane Cagle
National Voter Registration Day!
The most patriotic thing you can do for your country is vote. Today is National Voter Registration Day and there are events nationwide today to make it easier for you to register to vote! Go into the website http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org and type in your zip code and it will list various locations where you can register to vote!
Mid-Terms Are Quickly Approaching
Many individuals think that their vote doesn’t matter or they are simply exhausted with the current political scene and “check out” so to speak. I would encourage every single person, no matter your age, do NOT check out. Currently, the largest group that turns out to vote is the age range of 45-60+ years of age which means, there are millions of people who simply are not showing up to vote.
Maybe you are more concerned with what is happening in our city–St. Louis is rapidly becoming the murder capital of the United States. You should be concerned–do you think that the mid-term elections have nothing to do with that topic? Maybe you are concerned about making rent next month? Maybe you are concerned about putting food on the table for your kids? We all have our immediate and serious life concerns, but those concerns are all impacted directly by leaders we chose in elections. They are not all the same, despite what some people think.
Relying on other people to vote and make the decisions is essentially putting your future in other people’s hands. Talk about un-American!!!
Millions of People
Millions of people make a difference. If you are 18 or will be 18 by November 6, 2018 you absolutely should register to vote and then, show up to vote. Again, let me impress upon you the difference that MILLIONS of people make in an election. People ages 18-29 have the lowest percentage of voting, followed closely by the age group of 30-44. Why???!!!! The issues and candidates that are being elected WILL directly impact your lives more than any other demographic group. Hence, why would you not want to cast a ballot regarding your future? Why would you want a single age demographic to make decisions for your generation?!!! Someone at the age of 74 may drastically view the next 10-20 years in our government very different from an 18 year-old, 28 year-old or a 48 year-old!
The very idea of democracy that we hold dear is based on the idea that informed people vote and that ALL people must vote! There are some civic duties that you don’t have a choice about such as taxes and fines; but don’t you want to have a say in who makes those decisions about your life?
Myth- My Vote Won’t Matter
Tell that to the large special interest groups that successfully get their constituents to vote and support their specific agendas. I’m not advocating for a specific party. I’m not going to tell you to vote for a Republican or a Democrat. I’m just telling you to vote! When the greatest number of people turn out to vote, we get a much better decision and representation of what the people in our country actually want.
Are you tired of what is happening in Washington DC? Or, maybe you love what is happening in Washington DC and you want it to continue? It is your choice to support it or change it. We have power as individuals to make our concerns heard through our vote.
Whether you consider yourself to be “political” or not, voting is a right in the United States that we should exercise. We say we believe in the rights of a democracy and the rights of everyone to vote, yet in many elections, only 30% of the people show up to vote. Get off the fence and participate!
Large interest groups love when there is low turn out. Those interest groups count on you not showing up to the polls. When fewer people show up to vote, special interest groups win and get to implement their special interest agendas that may or may not positively impact you. Do you have lots of time to get involved in political issues? If you answer is “no”, then I can pretty assuredly tell you that those specific interests groups do not represent you and will not directly benefit you.
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
We’ve heard all of the excuses of why people don’t vote. For example, I don’t have time, I don’t pay attention to the news, or my vote won’t matter. While I could use this space to vent about how I believe voting days should be national holidays, that won’t happen before November 6, 2018; so we have to address real life.
Clearly, I cannot make you care about what is happening in our country. But, by the time an event occurs that seriously impacts your life, you will care. I just hope that is something positive rather than negative.
Excuse- “I don’t watch the news because it is boring”. Well, my friend, the news is anything but boring these days. No longer do we have complicated economist explain the economy or the DOW, oh hell no, we have a little something for every viewer of the news. Well, except for children–maybe if you have children, they shouldn’t hear all of the news. Yep, that’s where we are–good or bad. So, there simply is not excuse to “check out” of the news.
Excuse– “Watching the news makes me mad”. Well, good! That means you are human. You cannot watch the news in the last year and not get anxious, mad or angry about what is happening in our country, whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent. Do something about it and vote.
Excuse-“I’m exhausted of the news and it doesn’t directly impact me”. Surprise, everything that is happening in our country directly impacts you. Whether we are talking about a tariff war or arguing over health insurance coverage, both of those things directly impact you. Those are the two most calm topics I could think of for this article. There are actually MANY things that are occurring in our current news cycle that directly impact each and every one of us. You don’t want to wake up six months from now and think, “oh yeah, I guess that really did involve me”.
November 6, 2018- Make a Plan
If you haven’t registered, then register. You can easily access the registration form online and mail it in. You must do so by October 10, 2018. November 6, 2018 is a Tuesday. Polling offices are usually open from 7 am. until about 7 p.m. (Check your local polling location for hours), so make arrangements. If you simply cannot be there on that day and vote in person, file absentee ballot. Again, you can easily request an absentee ballot and must do so in the next couple of weeks.
Voting is the One Place You Exercise Your Power
It begins with you. It begins with each of us individually holding ourselves to participate in the most basic way in our self-government. Remember that people have died so that you have the right to vote. We could do an entire history lesson over the last 100 years of those groups who have suffered greatly or died so that African Americans and women could vote and that’s not even going back to the Revolutionary War where the biggest war was fought so that YOU could exercise your right to vote.
Election of Our Generation
Many experts and average people like myself are talking about this Mid-term election being the “election of our generation”. Participation in the mid-term election may drastically change the course of our country in the next decade. Yes, I have some very strong political beliefs and I have some equally strong opinions about what is happening in our government; but this article is not to share my personal opinions–it is to remind you of the importance of being in the game. Sure, jury duty is a civic duty that you may get called upon to do once or twice in your lifetime, but voting is a treasured civic duty. The voting booth is the one place that you do not have to discuss your political beliefs but it is the one place that you exercise your power.
This is not the time to stick you head in the sand. It’s not a time that you have to watch the news 8-10 hours a day either. Frankly, if I watch the news 8-10 hours a day, it makes me crazy. But, you do have to tune-in to reputable news sources (television or newspaper) and know a few different perspectives. I don’t advocate that you only watch one channel– I advocate that you watch a variety of the major news sources and get various opinions. You can decide for yourself.
As I always advocate—make a plan! Register and show up to vote!