“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” So said Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
As the sixth of November approaches, it behooves my conscience to remark on the importance of voting when one has reached the legal age to do so.
As a part of the twenty-something generation, I feel that though there are many people my age who are involved and informed and care, there are so many that mark our generation as one of apathy. The “why should I care?” attitude is a plague that if not manifest in one area, usually turns up somewhere else. Today it is my mission to cut the cords of apathy as much as possible by convincing those who may not think it a big deal to avoid voting, to go out and share their voice.
In the United States, we are blessed with freedoms that we cannot imagine living without. Our Bill of Rights is a document that sends shivers of pride down my spine, just knowing I have those freedoms and protection. But our Constitution and Bill of Rights were not easily won. Our predecessors took their freedom, gave us the descendants those gifts.
To put it plain, if we abstain from voting in a general election we mock the work of our forefathers. We take for granted the freedoms we have simply by being born on American soil. We take lightly freedoms that people from countless other countries are still fighting to obtain.
One of our most precious freedoms is the freedom of speech. Voting is one of the most basic ways we can use that freedom. We can vote for whomever we please without fear of retribution or imprisonment.
And now, I’d like to take a moment to write to the ladies.
Ladies, it has not quite been a hundred years since we have been allowed to vote. Not even one hundred. When one considers Abigail Adams’ plea to her husband to “remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than [his] ancestors,” the movement for gender equality is as old as our country itself. And yet, we’ve only been voting for not quite a century. It is my plea to the ladies that we not express gratitude to our sisters in petticoats who fought long and hard to win us this basic freedom by abstaining to use it.
Lastly, the number one reason people cite for not voting is that they are too busy. I only wonder if we will be too busy to notice if our freedoms begin to be snatched away like so much trash in the street. For how can a nation truly appreciate its’ freedoms if it does not utilize them?