By: Helena Alvarez
Why should we not care what Donald Trump is saying? At the end of the day, because it does not matter that much what he’s saying. He’s shown time and time again that he’s the candidate that wants to get attention for random sound bytes and outlandish accusations. On some level, he must know what he’s doing?
The 2016 election is about much more than how some ridiculously wealthy man feels about poor people. It is about a democratic tradition that we have made excuses to ignore, but exists for us to take charge of the way our country is run. When foreigners watch our news outlets, or see what we consider politics, they are somewhat confused by what is happening. We focus so much on those moments that make us gasp that we fail to actually pay attention to why those moments are happening. So afraid that we are going to offend someone with our words, we never want to call BS on the things that we think are not “okay”.
We find so many excuses not to vote, but what about the benefits of voting? Not just going to the polls at election day, but writing to our representatives, telling them what we want, showing them that when we do not get what we want, they will not keep their jobs. If we cared enough to back someone that cares about what we want, we can put them in office and in the process could end a tradition of wealthy people doing what they want.
A big reason we feel the government ignores us, is because a big part of the government does. Elected officials ignore groups that they feel are apathetic. What is the point of trying to get out your message if no one is going to listen anyway?
So, we need to stop making excuses for why we “can’t” vote, and we need to start making arguments for why we need to vote, but there are a few things we need to remember before we do this.
It is not that we do not care about what happens in the political realm, it is that we do not think we can change anything. A big reason our country has been run by the wealthy white man is because the wealthy white man is the only one that takes it upon himself to vote. One of the biggest ways to enact change, is to actually get up and try to make a splash. This kind of thing does not happen in a few days or weeks, it’s a process that we are too scared to undertake.
Social movements like #blacklivesmatter, are only ever so successful because someone gets up and decides that they are going to fight for what they believe in.
We need to turn toward government to change things. Government sets rules, and by voting we are given the option to change our government, since new government means new rules. So why not push our leaders to listen, and the most effective way to do that is go out there and vote.