By: Rory Mondshein
For the past two decades, a lot of American public policies have been rooted in the idea of American Exceptionalism. Time and time again, we hear politicians talk about American awesomeness, but do not focus on the realities that plague millions of Americans.
While I am all for American pride (within reason), I believe that patriotism is about believing in a country so much that you can admit its flaws and believe that it can get better. I admit these flaws because I want to start a discussion about the different ways we can improve our lives. Although we may not agree on how to resolve these issues, we can all agree that these are issues.
For these reasons, it is incredibly important to go out and vote to ensure that every voice is heard. At the end of the day, it is not just policy — it is people’s lives at stake.
When we do not vote, we are allowing others to silence us.
When we do not vote, we are perpetuating the idea that some opinions — like the opinions of the citizens that actually go to the polls — matter more than others.
When we do not vote, we are sending a message that we are complacent with the state of affairs in this country.
If we are not happy, the best way we can express it is with our votes, and, while we may not think that our vote counts in the long run, it does.
When we think of the population, we think of the collective; however, we often fail to think about the collective is just a combination of individual voices coming together. When we vote as individuals, we are contributing to the collective. When we vote, we are standing for something bigger than ourselves.
When we vote, we are investing in the future — the future that Eleanor Roosevelt once said “belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”