I feel no shame admitting that I haven’t voted in eight years. Hell, the only reason I did vote in the 2008 election was because only one week prior, I turned the legal age of 18.
Welcome to adulthood. Voting is your rite-of-passage.
I have always said—and continue to stand by my word—that it doesn’t matter who is in The White House, nothing will change. The American political system is designed to prevent too much power in the hands of one individual anyway, right?
This mentality was just the reason I later realized I had/have no place to vote. There I was, a few months removed from high school—oblivious to any politician’s platform— given the power to choose a world leader. With merely a flip of a coin, I checked a box.
While the Left and Right play tug-of-war over taxes, seemingly unnoticeable changes are made before four years pass and everybody is again reminded how poor/great of a job (insert any name here) has done.
And so we start back at the top.
During my hiatus of voting, I forfeited my right to criticize anything. I had to accept whatever the majority of voting Americans sought best for me and my country and I was fine with that.
Would it even be fair for me to say what I though was best for Americans when I spent more than a quarter of that time living outside of the country?
I have often heard the argument: “You live in a country where so many people have given so much for your right to vote. How can you give up this freedom when people in other countries would die for such a privilege?”
Because that’s just it; I’m grateful that I live in a place where I’m not forced to do anything. I can exercise my freedom NOT to vote. After all, is it fair for people to blindly play tic-tac-toe on a voting card just because they can?
In spite of all my resentment toward voting, I feel compelled to make the trip to the polls come November. Before, voting seemed like finding the lesser of two evils. But this election is a matter of avoiding all evils. Period.
I know enough history to understand what can happen when despicable people are given a large chunk of power. While I still mull over the notion that un-acting bystanders are just as guilty as those committing crimes, I cannot look back and think I stayed mute when so many people were being attacked.
I guess I don’t want to be a bystander.