America, your apathy is killing you slowly and in so many different ways. Yet, when the economy gets bad or when something else happens in government that affects you personally you get angry. Why? It is because of your lack of civic and political education and your unwillingness to vote that gives you the type of government and society we live in today.
It is the government that was put in place by your apathy that was present when the financial crisis finally erupted. They took money from Wall Street and ran campaigns that got them elected and made them beholden to those donors. If you were more engaged civically and voted, then you would not be influenced by their advertising. You could have elected representatives that didn’t take one dime of corporate money and would have been beholden only to you. To put it simply, your’e not powerless. Your belief that nothing will change is unfounded. It’s a simple mental exercise–who you vote for determines if your concerns are being addressed, but for that to really work everyone has to vote.
Now you’re upset that there aren’t enough jobs. Well, you could have voted to elect people who put job creation and education at the forefront. Your elected officials determine what the government spends your tax dollars on. You could have elected people with different spending priorities.
If you’re upset about the war on women, did you vote? Do you like the fact that in the state you’re living in it might be impossible to get the sexual and reproductive services you need? You could have voted for candidates more in line with your views, but if you stayed home then this is the result.
In 2010, just 37.8 percent of the population in this country turned out at the polls to cast their ballot. The result was handing the House over to Republicans who have approval ratings that are at all time lows. You put them there! You can’t just show up and vote in presidential elections, where even then in 2008, we only saw 56 percent at best. Keep in mind that this was a historic presidential election year so imagine how low turnout got in the past. You have to turn out for every single election, especially the local ones because the local officials can influence your life far more than even the federal ones can.
Is it because you think that voting is a hassle? Even if that’s the case when you look at the trade off of not voting; is it worth it? We can’t do anything as a country unless things change dramatically. There’s no reason why we can’t have 90 percent of legally eligible voting age adults casting their ballot each November. I’ll go so far to say that it doesn’t even matter what ideology you may espouse, because chances are as a majority of voting citizens we’ll find common ground on some issues.
From now on if I hear someone complain about anything whatsoever that’s happening in this country; the first question I will ask is: did you vote? If their answer is no then I’ll tell them to move along.