I've remained quiet thus far about the election, but I had to post this. Too many people are going to pass up the chance to vote today because they don't feel like it, and that just makes me sad.
Reasons why I'm voting:
1.) My rights
I like that I'm able to have a say in the way that my country is governed. Do our elected officials suck more often than not? Yes -- but at least we get to choose them. We don't live in a military state that's run by a dictator, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't like someone telling me what I can and can't do, and if I just sit on my ass and let someone else run the show, I'm being lazy and proving to everyone that I need someone else to tell me how to live my life. I refuse to be a worker ant. Besides, I'm from Rochester, and my girl Susan B. would be pissed as all hell that I'm taking a dump on something she worked so hard for. To be treated equally and allowed to vote is a beautiful thing. Women haven't been fighting for ages for me to sit back and say that I don't care. This is my moment of cultural pride to be able to do this, especially as women have only been voting since 1920. For roughly the first 150 years that our country, someone like me had no say in the way that things were run. That's scary.
Consider this: for the past eight years, we've lived in an administration that has: eroded our sense of personal freedom as well as outsourced terrorism (hello, Guantanamo Bay); done more damage for race relations by discriminating against religions; forced a sense of puriticanical morality by seeking to stunt the civil rights of gays; wasted tax money by invading a country to take care of your daddy's axe that still needed grinding (as well as killed and scarred -- both physically and mentally -- scores of brave men and women); taken the country from the largest surplus to the greatest deficit in history; widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor while eradicating the middle class; placed female autonomy in question by threatening to overturn a judicial ruling granting women the right to decide what happens to their bodies in a symbiotic relationship.There's a LOT that I'm leaving out. I don't want a repeat or for things to get worse.
3.) My kids
The rules that are being made today are going to impact my two daughters, both under the age of three. Some people have the luxury of only thinking of themselves while voting. Some say that they flat out don't care about the educational system or healthcare reform because it's not in their backyard yet. I want to find a way to improve the quality of life for both them and their friends; children don't deserve to walk into a mess of a system, or do without because times are tough. That means placing the country in good hands. I'm vocal about everything that goes on in their lives; why not this?
4.) A sense of action
Do I like some of the candidates this year? No. I think that there's a lot better out there, and that our system needs to change. However, I will not be complacent and wait for change to happen without acting myself. That's like using the Jedi Mind Trick to regulate government -- fat fucking chance that's going to work. You have your right to free speech and tell me that you can make a decision and not vote, but that's not going to put your candidate in the White House. That's like rooting for one picture to win at the Oscars and then getting upset when it doesn't -- you had no choice and no say. Your opinion didn't matter. It shouldn't be that way for government. If you just sit around and wait for the right candidate to magically get elected, you are entitled to do so, but I am equally as entitled to call you a fucking douche bag. It's lazy and apathetic, two things for which I have no use. You're just wasting resources at that point. If you're not going to participate in one aspect of government, you shouldn't reap the benefits. It's called freeloading, Kato.
5.) My friends and family
I have gay friends, Muslim friends, Jewish friends, male and female friends, friends who are single, friends who are in debt, friends who are struggling parents. Some of this is a reflection of what I face, but some of it isn't. The issues this election impact my friends tremendously. Does the issue of gay marriage directly effect me? No -- I'm not a gay woman seeking to get married and obtain the same rights and equal treatment of my heterosexual counterparts. However, I know and love people that are, and so I'm passionate about that. When I was a kid, it didn't matter what a person was in terms of sexuality or religion -- it mattered if that person was nice and treated me well, because I was a lonely child with a lot of love to give. For all intents and purposes, these people are as much my family as the people with whom I share DNA. As I've aged, I've continued to feel the need to fight for the people that love me unconditionally. That means that it MATTERS to me if someone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin and Muslims are evil gets into power. I will fight for these people because I love them. That means making sure that someone who wants to demean them isn't chosen to be our fearless leader.
There are many reasons to vote, but please, just do it. Don't be lazy or apathetic. You ruin it for the rest of us that actually give a shit.