In this time of uncertainty surrounding the ever-changing status of COVID-19, nothing seems more important than finding a cure so that we can all get back to our normal lives. However, something stands in even more importance than that: voting.
The 2020 presidential election is right around the corner, and with tensions higher than ever before, the importance of voting is once again being stressed. With a sentence like that, you might not expect me to have a positive feeling towards the many voter awareness campaigns that are floating around, and truthfully, I don’t. It’s not so much the idea of voting that annoys me so much, but the constant nagging and repetitive sentiments that make it seem as if I don’t vote, I’ll be the one charged with having completely destroyed the American government system. Many of you may relate.
So, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the point of this article? If he hates voter awareness campaigns so much, then why is he telling me to vote? Or is he even telling me to vote at all?” I’ll address all of these questions briefly, but, for now, just know that, yes, I think you should vote, and here’s why.
In 1776, the dawn of America, only white men age 21 or older who owned land were allowed to vote. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that those rules have changed, though not easily. African Americans, Native Americans and women all had to fight to get their right to vote. Through protests, literal blood, sweat and tears, these groups of people can now freely vote in the United States.
If you fall under any of those categories, you need to recognize just how important your right to vote is. It wasn’t given to you; it was fought for on your behalf. You now have the freedom to elect who you want to without the fear or judgement of a government that doesn’t even recognize your human rights. Your vote now counts; it matters. If it wasn’t for those who fought for your right to do so, no one would ever know or even recognize your opinion.
If you do not fall under any of those categories, fear not, because your voice matters just as much. Many of you, who, like me, possess social privileges just based off of the color of your skin, your gender or your sexuality, have a chance to fight for those who aren’t offered the same privileges that others are given. We have a chance to set aside our pride and to stand by our minority brothers and sisters, and to fight for them. Voting is about choice, and often that choice can lead to positive or negative outcomes for certain groups of people.
Voting is a chance for those who are privileged to stand against the face of oppression. This is why Veracity is encouraging the John Brown University community to use their voice and to vote. You can find more information about our voter awareness campaign by visiting our Instagram page @go.vote.jbu.
In the words of the band Incendiary in their song, “Sell Your Cause”:
“A vote to do nothing is a choice for death.”