Voting isn’t about “politics”. It’s not about some team-sport party affiliation. It’s about shaping your own community, with your own voice, for your children, and generations to come.
I know that there are many folks out there in the USA that don’t believe their vote makes a difference due to the electoral college, or politics, or “cheating”, or any number of reasons.
I know there are many folks out there who don’t vote because the candidates “don’t excite them” enough, or they don’t “do politics”, or they believe their voice doesn’t matter.
The difficulty with abstaining from voting is that a person chooses *not* to be part of building their own community, and their own world.
A person LITERALLY becomes a ward of the will of others.
More people take the time to vote for American Idol contestants than they do for public leaders.
That’s mind-boggling to me.
When we vote in civic elections, a person chooses to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Like deciding how many police we can hire. And how many fire stations we can have.
To not vote means to drop out of designing your own community, your own country, and your own environment. It means to be okay with going along with what someone else decides—FOR you.
It took WOMEN in America 70 years of continual protest to get the right to vote. It took black Americans *generations* before they were allowed a ballot. And Native Americans are still challenged to have their votes counted.
Because VOTING SHAPES THE COUNTRY. Control the vote, and you control the nation.
THAT’S how much voting matters, to local issues and big-picture matters.
And, in many cases, where candidates threaten the environment, or a local way of life, a person who chooses not to vote then chooses *not* to protect what they already have built.
We take so many freedoms and resources for granted in the USA, and even in my home state of Montana, like our beautiful public lands to camp on, and clean creeks to wade in, and fish.
For instance, the wrong candidate for Montana governor can be bought by big industry, and will have those public lands drilled full of oil holes, or campgrounds strip-mined, and those creeks will be redirected, or full of chemicals and muck.
But aren’t there regulations that prevent that, one might assume?
The wrong candidate for President, or, say, Montana governor, can easily override those regulations—with a pen stroke. And what we’ve come to know for our families and children, is gone to the almighty dollar.
That’s just one example of what happens when we unplug from our accountability as a citizen, and just coast along, hoping someone will “handle it” for us.
Hoping it will work out “somehow”.
WE ARE THE “SOMEHOW”.
NOTHING IN AMERICA is set in stone.
NONE of your rights are guaranteed.
It doesn’t matter if the “Bill of Rights” says so.
At any time, any President, backed by a court or a few congress people, can change the landscape of your carefree American rights—overnight.
It’s called a Constitutional Amendment.
It’s called a Supreme Court Ruling.
NONE of our freedoms are guaranteed.
Our entire American life can be purchased, if we’re not paying attention, and if we are not part of the solution. Much of it has already been sold-off to high bidders, all while many of us are were busy voting for the next hit top model or singer on TV, or believing incorrectly that someone else had it handled, and big changes would never touch us.
As we’ve seen recently, if any candidate manipulates the system properly, even the recommendations set forth in the Constitution and the law itself, then won’t apply to them.
You see, politics isn’t about politicians.
It’s about societal design.
And it’s OUR JOB, as a person who claims American citizenship, to cast a vote in the direction of the society that *we’d* like to see built.
For some, that society is traditional. For others, it’s progressed. Yet WE are supposed to decide.
And if enough of us cast our votes—the system must overwhelmingly listen to We The People. Not the few senators whose income is subsidized by lobbyists writing them hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks for their congressional vote.
But US. You, and me.
And YES, if enough of us vote, the system works. Yet when barely anyone is voting, and no one is paying attention because our favorite TV show us on, then those few votes cast are easily manipulated.
So please, especially if you’re a woman, or a person of color, or if you’ve never voted, or you’re “sitting this one out”—please consider joining those of us who are doing our best to sculpt an equitable, beautiful, FREE America.
Because we can only lift so much, without you.
We can only protect so much, without you.
We can only design the future so far, without you.
It’s not the politicians that need you.
It’s WE, your neighbors, who need you.
Vote. It doesn’t mean “I’m political.”
It means, “I care.”