I’ve always loved Election Day. It makes me feel like I have the power to make a difference because I know that just one vote can. I’ll always vote in any given election – not just the Presidential election every four years – but even (especially) in my local election where often one vote has made the difference. I’m grateful that I live in a country where I have the right to vote and I hope I never take that “right” for granted.
When I was 18 years old I couldn’t vote. The year was 1969; I had just graduated from high school and went off to college. It was a time of unrest and protest on college campuses because the Vietnam War was escalating and every day young men my age were dying. Young men that couldn’t even cast a vote for their Commander in Chief because the voting age was 21 and they were too young. Too young to vote but not too young to give their life for their country. The voting age changed on July 1, 1971 with the Twenty Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution changing the voting age from 21 to 18 in response to the student activism against the war.
It’s hard to believe that change happened in my lifetime and even harder to believe that when my grandmother was in her twenties she couldn’t vote because she was a woman. I will never take my vote for granted because I feel somehow it dishonors all the people who fought hard for that right. I also feel that apathy can lead to disaster. Just look at history if you don’t believe me.
We all get caught up in living our lives and sometimes we don’t see the silent shifts of power. But if we’re not careful and aren’t diligent in protecting our rights – they will quietly go away without us ever noticing. And it makes no difference what your political persuasions are. You have no right to whine about what you don’t like if you don’t vote.
I don’t want to be the one explaining to my grandchildren when they ask me why my generation let “whatever” happen – happen. I don’t want to be the one who says that I was too busy posting on my Facebook and didn’t take the time to go to the polls and vote.
Go vote today – it’s the greatest feeling in the world.