It is an election year, as I am sure you are well aware. And as I am sure you well know, Election Day is right around the corner. Soon, the campaigns that have been flooding our eyes and ears will come to an end, and we will instead hear and read about the results of the election, the success of one political party over another, and the impending changes that are about to take effect. And inevitably, we will also have an opportunity to voice our opinions, and consider those that have been shared by others, regarding the perceived well-being of our nation, its people, and our future as American citizens.
Like many of you, I have partaken in numerous political discussions over the past few weeks, and I have read and overheard even more than I have participated in. In doing so, I have listened to people as they passionately express their political beliefs and their adamant intentions of voting for the party they believe in, formulating an argument for and against one party or the other, their representing candidates, and the numerous issues that will be on the ballot this year. And on the contrary, I have heard countless people say that they do not intend to vote at all because they feel torn on an issue or they do not support either candidate this election year.
As I listen to these arguments and discussions, I cannot help but to consider my own beliefs and opinions about what is “best” for our nation as I see it. Yet regardless of my own political beliefs, and whether or not they are in agreement with others, I do think that it is important to vote. I think that, as a members of a democracy, it is important to take this opportunity to raise our voice by casting our vote and advocate for what we believe in.
When I was twenty-one years old, I had my first opportunity to vote in a presidential election, though I was uncertain of my political beliefs. Unsure of who I would vote for, I told my dad that I would sit this one out. Upon hearing that, my father brought me up to speed on both candidates and he urged me to vote for who best represented my personal beliefs. After he did so, he told me, “Ellie, it is important to vote. Voting is a responsibility, an obligation, and a privilege a citizen of this country.”
I believe my father is right. No matter your political beliefs, do cast your vote this Tuesday. See to it that you fulfill your responsibility of advocating for what you believe in and know that you are privileged to have such an opportunity to do so.