The year 2016 has seen monumental developments in the technological, social, and, particularly, political realms. While in previous elections, many professional organizations and those in the public eye have stayed primarily bipartisan (or at least refrained from speaking out directly against a candidate), we have now reached a whole new level of political aggression. Drastic changes and expansion in the way the media covers politics has caused have caused those who previously remained quiet on elections to lend their voices to the conversation – for better or worse.
This generation and this point in history are part of such a widespread industrial movement that with the constant technological advancements our current situation only bound to happen. With news engagement like never before, candidates have been essentially campaigned for by not only their own advertisements, but a never-ending supply of online supporters. Memes, hashtags, and spoof videos have completely saturated nearly every media outlet since the election began, without candidates needing to pay for any of it. A simple photograph or tweet has the potential to instantly become viral without so much as the click of a button – a notion that is simultaneously amazing and terrifying.
This has noticeably changed the political game and while sometimes it may seem like the election is merely a source of entertainment, this is the future of the most powerful country in the world that we’re talking about here. It’s not some temporary trend or joke that will blow over like the last internet fad, easily washed away by a new funny animal or fail clip – this is the most powerful person on Earth.
Yes, the President is not the only one who has a say in government actions – but think about this: The policies that he or she will put into place have the potential to significantly alter long-standing laws and regulations. The new Supreme Court Justice(s) he or she appoints will still hold that position long after the Presidential term has ended. He or she will shape the future that your parents will grow old in, that your children will grow up in, that you will be living and working in.
Sitting around and complaining that you refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils is just a vote for the worse of them. It’s on you, as a citizen of this country, to get up and get out there and let your voice be heard. As part of your fundamental rights, don’t contribute to the apathy that has elevated our unfortunate circumstances. Simply claiming that the system is corrupt and that there is no point in voting just allows all of those factors that you disagree with to continue happening.
While it may seem like your individual vote doesn’t matter, you can make a difference. Imagine if everyone had the mentality of only being one vote…every single one of those votes add up eventually. Let’s take a step back towards the bigger picture of all of this and think about the future that will follow suit. This election is so incredibly close that you can be the change for a better tomorrow for your country, yourself, and those you love.
We live in an incredible country that has completely changed the concept of freedom and put significance behind the word democracy. While we may be going through difficult times at the moment, we can’t continue to let this split us apart as a nation. We are all still Americans, with certain unalienable rights, that we have to protect and be proud of. We, the people, are what make up the United States of America and we can’t let ourselves forget that. Get out there, be an American, and go vote!