For many Americans, voting is a right you have as an American and with such a right one would argue that you should exercise it. However, most Americans do not feel like it matters whether they exercise their right or not. In this Editorial we will go through the breakdown of the majority’s opinion v. the dissenting opinion on voting:
- Every major change this country has endured comes from voting whether positive or negative the institution has been the epicenter of it all. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement they all needed policy to set standards for their respective ideologies. However, to achieve this they had to vote for an elected official to see that policy come to fruition. Voting is a part of the fabric of this nation because it gives us the freedom to determine where our country as a whole is headed. To be an active voter one cannot just vote every four years but vote in every election cycle. From the presidency to your county sheriff – there needs to be active voting participation. Voting is so important that it has been a form of oppression for some communities for centuries. The founding fathers knew the importance of proper representation that is why some people were excluded. This country was founded on checks and balances, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, are institutions created to have their own respective power so one could not overpower the other. For the American people voting is our power to keep those branches in check.
- However, most Americans, the disenfranchised, and most marginalized communities don’t necessarily believe in the institutions as being for them. Due to the circumstances, they were born into, or societal norms that have been bestowed upon them all give them every reason to be skeptical. When growing up as a minority one can argue that you are constantly at odds with the status quo; due to the fact of your very being goes against the status quo. That is a hard pill to swallow but that is the reality for millions of Americans. Roughly 100 million eligible voters stayed home and did not participate in the 2016 election – that day they truly believed their vote did not matter, or if it did matter nothing would change. In their eyes, a person who did not look like them or have their best interests in mind would control the oval and the status quo of systemic oppression would remain.
As this election approaches whether you choose to sit it out or be a part of it one can only ask themselves, have I done my part? Have I used my power to check this government? President Barack Obama said it so poignantly that the people associated with the Civil Rights Movement had every right to give up and allow things to stay the same, but they didn’t! They knew that there was a way for true change – they knew they could make this country better, a more perfect union, and so they continued their fight for the right to vote. What is your excuse? If they did not give up on this country, why should you.