No time for “I don’t care”

One of the most exciting days of my elementary school career was during early November in 2008 in my 1st grade teacher’s classroom.

I understand how that may be considered oddly specific, but I remember this day clearly because it was the first time I was introduced to voting.

It was right before the historic 2008 election and for the first time in the history of the United States, there was a Black presidential candidate nominated by a major political party.

Our class held a mock election in which we voted for whom “we” wanted as president. We did this again in high school during the 2016 election.

I remember being so excited to have the chance to “vote,” and over the years, my excitement about voting has only grown stronger.

Being able to vote for the first time in November of 2018 during the midterm election is one of my proudest days because I knew I was helping make a change with my vote, which is something women were not allowed to do until 1920.

But something that I have noticed the past couple of months is how many people consider themselves apolitical, not interested or involved in politics and often chose not to vote in state and/or federal elections.

How could you not be interested in something that has so much impact on your everyday life?

There is not a single day that goes by that politics and voting don’t affect your life in some capacity.

Voting and educating yourself about politics is more than choosing which side of the aisle your beliefs line up with or selecting a candidate. Voting means having the privilege to have your voice and beliefs be heard and advocating for the policies and ideas that you support.

Although we live in the United States where we have the freedom to make our own choices, choosing to be apolitical is no longer a choice when your vote decides whether we have four more years of a president who has allowed 200,000 people living in the United States to die during a pandemic while he continues to golf and tweet while ignoring the cries of the nation.

Our country is about to have arguably the most historic and life changing election ever and still there are people across the nation who meet the criteria to vote but will not vote because according to them, politics does not affect them, or they just don’t like politics.

Even though you may think politics doesn’t affect you, your vote may save my right to choose whether I want to have an abortion or save the lives of women who are currently detained in ICE detention centers in Georgia and are being forced to have hysterectomies.

Your vote is more than some filled-in bubbles on a piece of paper.

Your vote can save lives.

“I don’t like politics” is no longer a valid answer to “Why don’t you vote?”

We are quickly approaching the deadlines to register to vote. The deadline for Massachusetts is October 14th. The deadlines for other states can easily be found on Ramlink under the events tab.

Although you may not like politics, our lives will forever be changed on November 3rd and everyone in this country who is eligible to vote has a right to take part in that change.

Please consider dedicating the next couple of weeks to educating yourself about how influential politics is in our lives and then request a mail-in ballot.

Just remember: when you wake up November 4th to the results of the 2020 election, unless you voted or were active in politics, you don’t have a right to complain about the outcome.

You had the chance to make a change, but because you “don’t like politics,” you lost that chance.