Why You Should Vote
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:09
I may be disgusted and embarrassed to say who I voted for, but I would be more so if I did not cast my vote.
Because I believe that in order to alter the political system, and to better appoint the candidate I think will botch up less, I have to cast my vote on Nov. 6. In short, you will not change anything by opting out.
What most Americans want to change is the state of our economy. Although I agree that this is the primary concern for the 2012 general election, I also think it is pertinent to ask ourselves how we got into this mess in the first place.
The crash of 2008, the fiscal cliff and our current unemployment rate all were contributing factors to the mess we are in today. All of us, not just politicians or chief executives, neglected to ask the hard questions. Can we afford this? Where exactly is this money going? Is this our best option for the future?
We shied away from these probes into our economic infrastructure and political system because we were lazy, scared or naïve to assume that everything would turn out in our favor.
And now? America is in a free fall.
To make matters worse, America has to choose between two candidates that few seem jazzed about. In my opinion both candidates are equally unsavory.
I vehemently disagree with Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s social policies because of my morals. Yet, I have no definitive reason to re-elect President Barack Obama. Regardless of my lack of enthusiasm, nay, disgust for Obama and Romney, I have never considered not voting.
Many argue that because they detest both candidates, which is a fair claim, they will not vote. Essentially, because they cannot feel good about their vote, they will not vote at all.
But it is not about feeling good about who you voted for. It is about putting yourself into the political system. Participating in the system, allows you to better understand and appreciate your role in the democratic process.
Being aware of your role in the democratic process (this is assuming that you are aware of your role by casting your vote), you also come to understand the roles of other citizens in this same process.
By being a part of a system that has millions of parts, all with their own convictions, we will be able to work better together because we have an awareness of each other. All of these convictions combined will allow Americans to ask those hard questions together, to be aware of what is best for this country together.
I may very well be disillusioned in thinking that casting my vote makes me an adult. But I know for a fact that not casting a vote, on the basis of not feeling “good about it,” is like a child refusing to eat her dinner because she does not like what she was given.
Close your eyes, pinch your nose and vote. I do not know if we will ever fully right the economic lurch we are in. But I can tell you that not participating will guarantee it.
Claire Ingebretsen is a sophomore political science major and editor of the Opinion section.