Get out and VOTE, Damn It!
Tomorrow, there is an election, how many of you are planning to get out and vote? I live in Los Angeles, so I will be casting my vote in the California General Election. This election chooses critical positions for those running our state’s government, as well as several proposed propositions that change the laws or taxes for our state.
Why should you vote? It’s a PRIVILEGE!
First of all, voting is not only a right, but it is also a privilege. Why is it a privilege Janell? I mean, after all, it’s every American’s God-given right to vote, and a privilege is more like, umm, a kid getting dessert because he ate all of his dinner. How is voting a privilege?
Well, simply because it hasn’t always been everyone’s right.
The United States was founded on July 4th, 1776. At that time, only white male citizens who owned property were allowed to vote. Well, let me clarify, only white males who were not Catholics, Jews or Quakers. The state laws changed over time, and eventually, religious affiliation was no longer an issue.
African American males were not allowed to vote until 1870, over a hundred years later, when the constitution was ratified with the 15th amendment giving black males the vote. And, African American women won their right to vote alongside their white sisters in 1920, with the 19th amendment. In 1940 congress finally recognized all Native Americans as citizens, but it took until 1947 for all the states in the union to grant them the right to vote. The Chinese exclusion act of 1882 was finally repealed in 1943 giving our Chinese citizens the right to vote.
Basically, our voting history has been a racial and sexist nightmare, but now that WE CAN ALL VOTE, remember this is not just a right, it is also a privilege for every American Citizen. Many of our ancestors had to fight so that we all have the same right to vote, so now it is every citizen’s privilege. SO, DON’T BLOW IT, GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!
Okay, you should also vote, so, you can COMPLAIN.
Huh, what the hell are you talking about now Janell?
You see, if you are one of those people who complain about every politician, or every law that you deem is unfair, but you couldn’t take the time to haul your lazy butt over to the polling office and cast your vote, then, sorry, but… you have NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN. If you didn’t try to read the literature so that you could make informed choices, thus voting with your best intentions of doing the right thing for our state, then, in my opinion, YOU have lost the right to COMPLAIN! It’s kind of like watching everyone make a cake, and then complaining that you don’t like how it tastes. Perhaps if you had weighed in while the cake was being made, it might taste a bit better once you sink your teeth into it. ENOUGH ALREADY, VOTE!
You should also Vote because you CAN!
We live in a country that is free. We are free to vote for whomever we want. We can vote for the party we like, the person we like, and the laws that believe in. In the United States, we have the freedom to choose to follow our own beliefs, and we have the right to defend them. This freedom of choice is not something everyone in the world is lucky enough to experience. So, vote because you can.
My personal reason why I vote.
Did you know that 2004 was an auspicious year, one that undoubtedly will go down in history? Because that year, somehow, I was sworn in as a citizen of the United States. As soon as I had lived here the mandatory five years, I applied for citizenship. As much as I loved my home country Canada, I knew that the United States had more to offer me, plus, I was truly over winter. I remember my first 4th of July as a citizen, and how proud I felt that day. The first time I voted in an election, I actually cried while filling out the ballot to the point I could barely see through my tears. I was so honored to be part of this country and grateful that they actually allowed ME in!
I think sometimes when you have to work to get something, you cherish it even more. It was not easy to immigrate here, legally I will add, and it wasn’t easy leaving my life for a new adventure. However, for every difficult day, I have had, there has been another wonderful day opening up a new door of opportunity for me. Life is like that, if you work for something, and keep on pushing forward, life shows up for you.
So, let’s all become engaged in our own life!
And lastly, if you are still struggling with why you should get out and vote, here are some strategies to help you…
Janell’s get out and VOTE strategies:
- Pretend you are on the Oscar committee voting for your favorite movie, or who you think gave the best performance, and turn voting into a game. Read the pamphlets, study the choices, and pick your own Oscar winners and watch to see if the rest of the Academy agrees with you or not.
- If you are a sports buff, look at voting like you are picking out your own Football Team. You have the information in front of you, the positive reasons for this player, the negative, their stats, etc. Think of voting like building your own team of players, try to find the ones that you think will give you the best chances at winning the Super Bowl of life. Hey, you might not get to choose all of your players, but at least you tried your best to make a winning team.
- Hanging out at the polling place is a lot cheaper than hanging out at the bar, so, hey, you just might meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, and wouldn’t that be a story for your wedding speech?
- You will burn calories on the walk over to vote! Woo-hoo!
- You will get an I VOTED STICKER!
- Yep, I am reaching, really reaching, the sticker and the five calories were kind of pathetic, but umm, you get the message… VOTE!
Below is a link to my novel, Where the Dogs Go, available on Amazon. It is a beautiful story about the love between a dog and it’s human. Will make a wonderful Christmas gift for you doggie loving friends!