Today at lunch, I was talking to my coworkers about voting as today is obviously Midterm Election day. One coworker was cavalier about the day, stating her intentions to skips the polls, while the other subtly yet passionately tried to get her to change her mind.
The one coworker who doesn’t vote said that she hates politics, and there are no good candidates, while the other protested that it was our duty and we should vote regardless of how uninvolved we felt ourselves to be simply because there are people who do not have that privilege of silence.
I myself have been on both sides of the coin–there have been years where I did not vote, and there have been years where I have. Personally, I believe that what we feel is “choice” is anything but. Trevor Noah put it best when he made a small, yet insightful comic insight on the nature of pawns, stating: “Pawns get a bad rap, you know…all of the pieces are controlled by the same hand.”
While this soundbite didn’t get a lot of viral attention, it caught my ear because it expressed my thoughts brilliantly, which is that no matter what or who we vote for, there are forces above and beyond our political system that always manage to create what they want, no matter who is in charge.
However, while that may allow one to feel justified in sitting back and washing ones hands of the whole messy situation, I firmly believe that one should take action with your vote, even if our political system is rigged.
But Hannah, I can hear you say, if that is indeed true, aren’t we all doomed anyways? Shouldn’t we just stop fighting against such insurmountable odds? Just allow whatever reality show shmuck who steps up to the plate to win because hey, the powers that be get what they want anyways. *shrugs* *resumes scrolling*
And my answer is unequivocally NO, we should never stop fighting. When we stop becoming involved with what dictates the world we live in, we miss opportunities for real, actual change, no matter how small or insignificant they might be.
Beyond that, disengagement is what the people in charge strive for. The less people who care about what goes on, the more leeway they have with their own agendas.
I would encourage everyone to vote not only with your ballots, but also with your time. Spend time edifying yourself-learning new things, exploring history, understanding where we came from. Spend time investigating things you might have otherwise overlooked. Spend time connecting with people in person rather than spending hours scrolling on your phone. Spend your time in a way that makes your life unique, worth it, and valuable.
At the end of the day, we might not win. But if we will not go gentle into that good night, there remains hope for the future generations.
Rage, rage, my fellow humans. Rage against the dying of the light.