Political Malarkey Aside, Your Vote is Important
By Lauren Scharf
“I’m so sick of politics, I’m not even gonna vote this year.”
There’s an important election going on this year, as you must know. Don’t deny it. You know it’s everywhere. It’s on TV, it’s all over your Facebook newsfeed, it’s the ad that plays before YouTube videos. Politics, I tell ya! Every year, they’re at it again. Four years ago was my first election, and a big one at that. I had just started school, along with thousands of other art students ready to embark on a decade-long journey of being in excruciating debt. Despite the common ground I shared with these peers, I was surprised to find how many were not ecstatic about voting. “I’m so sick of politics. I’m not even gonna vote this year.”
Here’s the thing: Politics and Democracy are not the same thing. There’s a reason they hold these god-awful (gosh-awful if you’re a theist) elections every year and there’s a reason they’re especially more important/annoying every four years. I love complaining as much as the next American, but I think we can all agree I give up my right to complain when I give up my right to vote.
You might think it doesn’t matter, or it doesn’t apply to you, but it very much does. If you’re employed and absolutely dread when tax time comes around, this election applies to you. If you have a bank account, this election applies to you. If you are unemployed but still have the capability to break a leg or have a heart attack, this election applies to you. If you like to smoke pot, this election applies to you. It’s not more important for women to vote, or for gays to vote, or for the youth, or elderly to vote. If you are a US citizen of legal age, it is important that you vote.
I won’t tell you who to vote for; that’s not my place. If you’re confused, try this quiz to see who you side with. You might surprise yourself. If you’re still confused because you didn’t know half the issues discussed in that quiz, you’re in luck, my friend, because if you’re reading this, it probably means you have access to the internet. Google the issues, watch a few news segments. This is the media age, people, you have no excuse. If you’re like me and you’re on Tumblr night and day, check out this Election Blog with testaments from both sides of the ring. September 25th was National Voter Registration Day. How fun! If you’re not registered, see if there’s an event near you (or just plain ol’ register right here). If you are registered, double and triple check double and triple check to make sure!
I know this Election/Blame-Game/Horse Race/Cage Match/Dressage Competition is exhausting, but all you gotta do is check off a few boxes and you’re free to tune out those attack ads like they’re Macy’s Christmas Sale Commercials (which are inconveniently just around the corner). Good luck to you all, my fellow Americans. You may now return to your cat videos and Gangnam Style tutorials.
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