Updated: Oct 24, 2018
A cornerstone of American democracy, the right to vote and have your voice heard in the election cycles has become a very hot topic, especially since Donald Trump stepped into office.
If it didn't before, it now definitely seems like every single vote holds more power now, just showing how important it is to get out and vote when it comes time in your state.
With the regularly scheduled bombardment of ads encouraging you to vote, take a second to understand exactly what a vote means and why this years midterm elections could have some serious implications for the future of American politics.
What Does a Vote Mean?
Well, this does seem somewhat self explanatory. But this goes a lot deeper than just casting a ballot come November.
Honestly, it's pretty much impossible for me to sit here and tell you that your one singular vote means everything to a win for your candidate. I can't tell you that just one vote is all your candidate needs to win. But by you stepping in a poll booth, you proved that you care about the country.
And really, that's the starting block. A vote is an opinion. It is your opinion on who would do the best job. And that's what we need. Spend 30 minutes of your day, read some articles, pay attention, then give your informed opinion. Because the more informed opinions we have, the more informed our choice is.
It can be hard trusting your vote. Some people may point to the 2016 election, in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral college and therefore lost the election, as a reason not to vote.
If she had the most total votes, why isn't she president? If number of votes don't matter, why are we voting?
Other complaints include people saying they are not being heard, that they are not getting the help they need, and while this may certainly be true in some situations, it doesn't mean that is how it has to stay. But again, people say that a vote isn't enough to be heard. And I would disagree.
As an average citizen, your one singular vote may not be the winning shot at the buzzer or the voice bellowing out above the rest, but it is a symbol of trust, a symbol that you can spread to others by speaking with them.
Staying engaged in politics enough to make an informed decision at the polls not only means that you are interested in the future of this country, but it means that you can create conversation with others, conversation that overtime can lead to great changes. The casting of a ballot in November should be the culmination of the research and review you've done on your candidate.
And your vote doesn't have to affect just you. You can take your vote and encourage others to do the same. This doesn't mean pushing views, this means encouraging people to show up at the polls. Engage people, talk to them, inform them, encourage them to vote. Because at the end of the day, it shouldn't really matter who they vote for, but that they voted.
Conversation. Open lines of communication, in which the goal of the conversation is not to convince, but to understand and express thoughts and ideas. Just because you disagree does not mean there is a right and wrong always. The world is full of grey.
Why Is Voting Important
In a time where so many people are writing off American politics and even leaving the country all together, it is important to have "Average Americans" that care. Because its the average American that counts.
Now really, that is pretty sappy. But then again, the average American contributes to the work force as much as any celebrity. And think, if you decided to stop showing up to your job what would happen?
Apart from eventually losing that job, the immediate affect would be felt by productivity and results within the company you work for. And thats the analogy. Because America is a business. Sure it stands for ideals or goals, but what politicians and average citizens alike continue to strive for is financial success in every aspect, much like a company would.
So then, if America is in fact one giant business, it falls on the American public to continue doing their job. Americans must stay engaged, stay educated on current issues, and be willing to converse.
Now does this mean you HAVE to talk to that annoying cousin in his Trump hat screaming about the second amendment or take the word of your..... You get it. I'm not going to sit here and drag out the fact that there are extremes for everything.
But such is the problem that must be addressed. In a business, you converse with coworkers about the company, talking about how things are run or how they could be run better. While at times, these conversations may get tense, you still must find a way to work together.
We are not only killing ourselves, but we are killing our stance in the world which so desperately needs a steady hand and level head working to make it a better place, not turn it into a war zone. But that doesn't mean we need to be everyone's best friend.
And this is why we need to vote. We need to fill the country with more opinions. Because the people leading the conversation aren't getting things done and it is time for a change.
So rather than feeling the need to riot, feel the need to vote. Rather than reprimand, feel the need to understand and empathize with others. Creating an environment in which people are more willing to say how they truly feel is the only way we are going to get down to the root of issues in our country today.
Just because someone tells you they want to own a firearm or get an abortion doesn't make them terrible people. Understand their point of view. Understand the world through their eyes, rather than making them feel like terrible people for their honest beliefs.
"But how does me voting make an impact on the country?"
No, you're right, your one single vote doesn't have a huge impact. But it's about time America started showing up to work focused on success, not on the issues of their coworkers. And as we've discussed, your vote can mean a lot more than just one vote, but its up to you how worthwhile you make it.
And at the end of the day, what we want is a successful business. because a successful business means more money for Americans.
Which leads us to the real world moment. Shortly it will come time for the polls to open up and seats will be rearranged across many states in America. And this becomes yet another reason the vote is so important. Democrats need to flip two seats in the senate and twenty three seats in the house to gain control of both.
And Republicans are working to defend against what could quite be the possibly signal the begin to impeachment proceedings for Trump. A drastic step sure, but if democrats gain control in both the house and senate, it won't take long for the rumblings to begin and they will grow quickly.
But then again, this hinges on a big IF for the democrats. Aside from projecting any wins or losses for each party, its pretty obvious that no matter who you support, its a very important moment in the current stage of the both parties.
So VOTE. Because on your way to the polls, maybe you can pick up a few more votes. And no, I don't mean that literally. The path to the polls begins the day candidates announce they are running. And sometime between this moment and election day, you will make a decision on who you support.
And from this moment you are on the clock. If you wish to make a change, donate time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Find out how you can campaign for your parties, create helpful political conversations, be a change for the better in American politics.