Why I Vote

WhyIVote2012-2.jpg

Why I Vote is a blogging event hosted by Colleen at Chasing Ray.

Why do I vote? I vote because it’s never been a question. Growing up, my parents voted. They would watch the news and talk about the issues with each other and their friends. I turned 18 right before the 2000 presidential election. I knew I had to vote and I did.

I vote because it wasn’t so long ago that African Americans and women weren’t allowed to. Our voting history is short. I can’t turn my back on the sacrifices made so I, and many others, can have this right.

I vote to have my voice heard. I want government officials to know exactly how I feel about the state of education, civil rights, health care, and everything else I can think of.

I vote because it matters.

Why do you vote?

About these ads

18 thoughts on “Why I Vote

  1. I vote because I love voting. And more seriously, I vote because I think it’s disrespectful not to. I am so lucky to live in a time and place that allows me have to a voice in my government.

    • Oh, I like Jenny’s answer and I agree. I vote because I am a citizen and it is my right, a right that has been fought to defend and a right that has been hard fought to get. I respect that.

  2. Wonderful post Vasilly and totally agree with you…isn’t it wonderful to see so much progress being made, regardless of how slowly it happens…the fact is, it’s happening!

  3. I would love to believe that it matters. I once believed that my voice was heard; when I believed that doctors could cure, and lawyers would help convict the true culprit. Now I can’t say that I believe my voice is heard at all. The popular voice is heard. And today the liberal voice is heard. My voice seems to be echoing in the annals of the past.

    (This doesn’t mean, of course, that I don’t love you and the rest of the book blogging world. As well as the teachers with whom I teach.)

    • I want to give you a hug. Though we know each other mostly through the blogisphere, I feel the need to reply to you.

      I think your voice was heard in the election. There are millions of Americans who share the same opinions as you and voted for the candidate(s) that they thought was the best. It wasn’t the liberal voice that was heard but America’s. You said that I’m a liberal (and I am), but I’m also an independent voter. The Republican Party didn’t do anything to try to get my vote. There wasn’t a Republican presidential, senatorial, or congressional candidate that made me even consider voting for them. Between the horrible comments about rape that seemed to increase every day to the insistent of the birther conspiracy, your party took intelligence and kicked it out of the door.

      America is changing for the better. No longer can a presidential candidate ignore half of the country – or at least the 47%. The President of the United States needs to lead all of us, not just some of us based on our gender, race, class, or sexual orientation.

      I’m sorry that you’re feeling down but I’m not sorry that our President won. I don’t know about your voice echoing in the past, but our future is so bright.

      • I would like to add to your reply, Vasily, that I believe everyone’s voice *is* heard, and in the aggregate, the majority of those aggregate voices determine who will help govern for the next four years. Obviously there will be a side that “loses,” but this is what a democracy means. One of the reasons Lincoln wanted to save the Union was because he believed so strongly in the evils of dictatorship, and concomitantly, in the superior form of government provided by a republic, in which the government is decided by a majority of the people (as it just has been in this past election). But if it could be dissolved or nullified by the dissatisfied minority (the latter seeming close to what has been happening with Congress), it is unsustainable in the long run. As David Von Drehle writes in his new book about Lincoln’s most important year, 1862, Lincoln felt the power of the people was at stake if they could not see that “they should be able to trust that the losing voters would not destroy the nation in protest.” But this also means the losing voters should understand that they will get another chance in 4 years (or 2 or 6, depending on the type of election). In this election I think there is another thing that voters can take from it, and that is that the selection of government of this country can no longer be in solely in the hands of propertied white men, as it has been for most of the history of this country. As you said so well Vasily, we are now a diverse nation, and if those who previously monopolized power would accept that graciously, we could get a lot more accomplished for the good of us all. I see the Union like a marriage. In order to sustain it, one has to compromise, and sometimes one side gets his or her way, and sometimes the other, but if one can give and take and accommodate to change, the union will grow and prosper for the good of all concerned. Opting out from the feeling that one doesn’t have a voice at all seems too much to me like saying “okay, you won, now I want a divorce.” (and trust me, I said that WAY too often in my first marriage, which is why, ahem, it is no longer with us.) I hope that people instead, after this election, will say (and what I should have done with my first marriage, for example!): where do we differ and what does it mean and how can we work together anyway because the good of the union – a union worth saving! – is at stake!

      • The future does not appear bright to me when we are in monstrous, and ever increasing debt. I’m also terribly concerned about the increase in government control, as that undermines individual achievement and motivation. I see us becoming far less independent than we ever were, and more dependent on the govenrment for its aid. I’m also terribly concerned about the Democrats removing God from their platform; it’s the basis on which this country was founded, and I never hear Obama refer to Christian faith. I see nothing in the past four years which has improved my confidence in our country; I see a second year Senator from my corrupt and dysfunctional state of Illinois achieving a second term of the highest office in the land, and it baffles me.

      • As long as you vote, your voice exists in the present. Thomas Jefferson thought that our Constitution should be replaced every 19 years so that each generation could rewrite their country. Jefferson would be disappointed that the story of the founding fathers has ossified into a civil religion, and the Constitution has taken on the mantle of a sacred text, but we do continue to rewrite our country. I vote every election because I want to be part of every revision.

        Although it may feel to you that “today the liberal voice is heard,” the trend in politics has actually shifted rightward in the last few elections. Back when Ronald Reagan was a mainstream conservative, he raised taxes, made diplomatic compromises in foreign policy, supported gay rights in California, and offered amnesty to illegal immigrants in 1986. William Saletan (a Republican) wrote an intriguing piece in Slate last week comparing Obama to Nixon, Eisenhower, and Ford, arguing that mainstream liberalism has now moved to the place where moderate Republicans used to stand: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2012/11/obama_the_moderate_republican_what_the_2012_election_should_teach_the_gop.html

  4. That said, of course I agree with getting along. That we must do, as Americans. And it is for our country, and its freedoms that I am even capable of sending my son off as a Marine in January.

  5. I consider it a privilege to vote. My son turned 18 last April and this was his first election to vote in. We spent many hours discussing the issues and the presidential candidates. He and I both learned a lot!

Comments are closed.