A staff editorial, written by Kelonnie Harris and Jennifer Racusin and inspired by a collaboration with our brother publication THIS. Ent.
If you have lived in America for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that this country has some problems. From its founding onwards, the American government has been in service of one, very specific demographic: a white, land-owning male. We have aspirations of being a country “for the people and by the people,” but until recently, the definition of what constitutes a person has been very, very limited.
What would America be like now if everyone who contributed to its creation got an equal say in the lawmaking process from the start? We’re talking Black people, Native Americans, women, gender minorities, people of all demographics who didn’t own property or land–you get the picture.
Imagine how they would have voted, what laws would or would not have passed, the rate of progress we would have made. How their voices, knowledge, and experiences would have shaped what we practice. Would we need to explicitly declare that Black Lives matter? Or that people with uteruses should get to exercise bodily autonomy and have choice in their reproductive health?
No, we would not. We would have held the truth that should be so self-evident, that all people no matter what race, gender, culture, or difference, are all people, with inalienable rights, including the right to have an equal voice in their government.
And that those people who were left out from having a say in the governing of their country fought relentlessly until their right to vote was legalized. It is no coincidence those who are currently in power, and want to stay in power at all costs, are investing so much time and money into convincing you that voting is not worth the effort.
The obstruction is daunting, and it is tempting to feel helpless and wonder what one measly vote does.
Ask yourself this: If politicians weren’t terrified that YOUR vote could take away their power, why would they invest so many resources into making it as difficult as possible for you to exercise that right?
We vote, now, in hopes of turning the tide and moving towards a more equitable country in which all people, not just the few, can thrive.
For more reasons why we vote, check out this list on our brother publication, THIS.