Why You Need to Vote
Right now the internet is packed full of reminders to get out and vote. Snapchat wants to know if I'm registered every time I open it, Instagram is constantly asking me if I know where I can vote on Nov. 3, and it takes those on my Twitter feed mere seconds to remind me just how important it is to make my voice heard this year. I think the same could be said about almost anyone's internet experience right now.
I'm sure it will surprise no one to learn that I lean left. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary, and I likely will again should he chose to make a third attempt at the presidency. However, I also happily compromised and voted for Joe Biden in the general.
I hope it will also surprise no one to learn that I don't really have a problem with conservatives, to a degree. I disagree with plenty of people on hot button issues like healthcare, but that's not the end of the world. I do not compromise, however, when it comes to the basics of American democracy. A difference in policy opinion does not an enemy make, but a difference in American values does.
So why should everyone, left, right, and center, vote this year?
Because those basic American values are under attack.
Voting is a basic building block for American democracy. Every policy decision made in Washington is a direct result of the American people making their voices heard and electing representatives. Without accurate voting, the system falls apart. The right to vote and protecting that right is inherently American.
The Republican Party has, under the Trump Administration, become the party of voter suppression. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, this should bother you.
I make that statement objectively. Reliable, nonpartisan sources and basic facts agree; voter suppression runs rampant among the Republican Party right now, and it has for a while.
The New York Times and NPR recently ran stories covering how the California Republican Party put falsely labeled ballot boxes into place all over the state, an act the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, said was illegal.
This comes just two years after what NPR calls the "largest case of election fraud in U.S. history," when in 2018 a GOP operative illegally collected and possibly tampered with ballots in North Carolina's House race.
No matter how you look at it, the evidence points to blatant voter suppression at the hands of the Trump administration and the GOP. So how do we fix this? Perhaps ironically, we vote and we remove the administration.
I sympathize with conservatives who might feel like they don't have a dog in the race right now. I've made compromises in who gets my support this year. Biden doesn't support policies like the Green New Deal or Medicare for All, and those are things I staunchly advocate for, but I voted for him anyway because the alternative choice is an anti-American one.
So if you're a liberal who feels unheard this election, or maybe a conservative who thinks their only choice is the incumbent, I implore you to consider whether or not it might be worth compromising on some policies in order to help re-strengthen the foundation of American democracy.
Get out and vote.