Many reasons have been given for “why” each of us should vote. There’s really only one: a representative government cannot exist without input from the people. If we don’t accept our responsibility to speak up at the polls, we’re literally asking for the oligarchy to usurp our agency.
Unless you are seeking to overthrow our entire system of government, you need to vote to make our republic work. Even if you are happy with the status quo, you should be expressing your pleasure with a vote for the incumbent(s). If you object to what Washington is doing, complain after you get yourself to the polls to put your opinions in writing!†
The United States isn’t a direct democracy, of course, but a representative one wherein we elect others to do the work of governing on our behalf. Whether you are for or against the size of the current government and its many agencies, your role in the system remains unchanged. You vote as a signal for your representatives to follow.
Failing to vote is really a failure to uphold the American value system as a whole. It suggests that our founders were mistaken when they rebelled against monarchy and taxation without representation. Not voting is a demand that someone else usurp your power; specifically, your right to self-governance.
This right is the linchpin to what made America great. I’d argue that the ideas that “all men are created equal” and that our leaders are only “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed“ have been our most valuable export. When only a minority of American citizens exercise the right to vote, we really aren’t acting like a nation of free men and women with any justification for world leadership.
You want to make America great “again”? And I disagree, by the way, with the use of the past tense in that statement!
- Vote in every election, not just presidential ones every four years, but also for local matters.
- Vote for what you believe, not against someone or something you’ve decided to unilaterally hate.
- Use your mind to evaluate the issues; plumb your soul to balance practical realities against thorny moral questions.
Vote because you can, and because you owe it to your nation and its continued successes, for yourself, and for every other American besides.
Your freedom depends upon it! Not because someone else is acting to take it, but because you are considering giving it away through inaction.
Let freedom ring; give it your own voice.
†And if you couldn’t be bothered to vote when you had the right to do so, don’t even try to engage in political debate with me. I consider you to have abdicated the right for me to hear your opinions by your inaction on Election Day.