PSA: Fellow Minnesotans, do you have plans for this evening? If not, perfect; if so, please cancel so you can fit in voting in the primary Presidential Election. Not sure where or how to caucus? Click here for more information.
As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re in the middle of a very interesting election. At times, it seems less like a group of formidable candidates fighting to represent you and more like a troupe of circus clowns hurling tomatoes at each other. Insults flying, empty promises constantly supplied—some candidates trying to outdo each other with the sheer ludicrousness of their positions. I wouldn’t blame you for turning off the TV ads in an attempt to preserve your sanity. However, at this moment, it’s so imperative that you pay attention to what is happening in the political climate, and even more important that you vote for those who truly will create change in our country.
I know I’m asking a lot for you to devote yourself to this election for eight more long months. But here are just a few reasons you absolutely should care about politics right now:
1. Your vote matters.
I hear so many people my age saying that their vote doesn’t actually matter since there are so many voters…what difference does one vote make? One vote decides elections. One vote keeps a bad candidate out of the White House. When you take one person who decides not to vote and multiply it by thousands, the impact is staggering.
2. Politics affects us all.
Decisions by politicians of all ranks impact nearly every aspect of your everyday life—from taxes, Social Security, and healthcare to whether you’re allowed to make your own medical decisions, who you can and cannot marry, and how your fellow citizens will live their lives. Take notice. This stuff is important.
3. We are lucky to be able to vote.
There are so many countries unable to choose their leaders. However corrupt or inept you may find our current democracy, it’s still that—a democracy where its citizens are encouraged to voice their opinion. This is a right to be cherished and preserved.
4. You might learn something.
In order to be a well-informed voter, you need to pay attention to what’s going on in the world and how the political system works. Keeping your eyes and mind open while choosing candidates and issues you’re passionate about will only benefit you.
5. You’re shaping the future.
Every vote, election, and elected official leaves a mark on history—more importantly, these variables all interact to change our collective future. Even if you feel insignificant, remember that your voice is so important to the future of this country.
Please consider caucusing today. If nothing else, please start paying attention so you’re ready to go come November.
It’s time to remove ourselves from the idea that not caring is cool—it self-serving and lazy. Learn about candidates and issues. Take advantage of the freedoms we as Americans have. Acknowledge that different viewpoints and ideas only make our country richer and more diverse. Care.
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” George Jean Nathan
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Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.