Where do I even begin? Maybe it’s the hypocrisy, maybe the constant lies, maybe the false sense of trust and lack of patriotism. Anyone can blame these problems for the downhill path our country has taken, but what does blame do? Make the accuser feel better about themselves, as if they hold less responsibility? Sure, as humans, we like to be right, and even more so, we like to complain about what is wrong and who is to blame. But let’s be honest for a minute: we are all to blame for this.
I have probably lost a few readers by now, so to those who are still here, thanks for hearing me out. Now back to what I was saying. If you voted for Trump in 2016, you are to blame, if you voted for Hillary, you are to blame, if you voted third party, you are to blame, and most importantly, if you chose not to exercise your right to vote, you are to blame. After the disheartening debate on the night of Tuesday, the 29th, I sat in the dark thinking about the future of our country. I wanted to act. I was tired of constantly speaking out about what needed to change, but not feeling like I was achieving anything real by doing so. I was ready to actually do something. Maybe it was subconsciously in an effort to make me feel less guilty about the current situation or maybe it was to try and fulfill myself in some way; nonetheless I went to Biden’s campaign website and signed up for everything I could. I needed to act. Days later, what did that do? I don’t feel much better. And the fact that I can not afford to donate at the moment – slap me in the face one more time why don’t you. This is when I really started thinking. The guilt I felt because I could not donate is most likely how millions of other Americans feel too, especially in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis. It was almost as if I was not truly supporting the democratic party because I could not pull out my wallet when they asked. Feeling saddened by this reality, I got thinking. Yes, money helps, there is no doubt about that. And yes, yard signs and car magnets help, and yes, social media posts have certainly done a lot to help, but all these efforts are being made to support one common goal: getting voters out to the polls.
After realizing this, the money guilt I was consumed by slowly left my body. I knew what I had to do. Donating money feels like the easy way out now. It almost seems as if people “donate” but instead are buying their own relief and satisfaction by knowing that they “did something.” It is as if people can now say “Oh I support Biden, I donated to his campaign, what more can I do?” Well, there is one thing we all can do which might feel too simple and obvious, but that is the point, it is. We all must vote. We all must get our family and friends to vote. I have a hard time always trusting people when they say things like “Oh! I will register send me the link.” No, that is not enough anymore. We need to do everything in our power to make sure people vote. If necessary, walk them through the registration process. Have difficult conversations about what exactly is at stake. Let people know what the dates and deadlines are, and do not stop until it is known, that yes, that person did vote.
At the beginning of this article, I said that we are all to blame for the current state of our country. No matter who you voted for or did not vote for, we all could have done more to change the outcome of the past presidential election. Each one of us could have had more of those difficult conversations, we could have talked to more people about what was at stake. We could have informed others and ourselves about deadlines and made sure we all voted, whether by absentee ballot, early voting or going to the polls on election day. We could have all made a voting plan to gone together. We could have. But that was 2016. Its 2020 now. We can do that again.
Now it is time to focus on what we can do. We only have 24 days. 24 days to make a difference. Some might think that is nothing; that the decision has already been made. Seriously though, 24 days is a lot. 24 days is enough time to get others register, encourage voting plans, and to make a difference. If we all make it our goal to find 1-2 people who are not sure about their voting plan, to make one and follow through with it, that is making a change that money could never do.
In 2024, let’s not think back about what we could have done, but instead, proudly think back to what we did do. Because at the end of the day, it is not about who is right and wrong. It is about our future and what world will be be living in.
So let’s put our best foot forward and make sure it is a good one.