No Vote

Not voting is not an option

With each election season, there are several persons who publicly and proudly declare that they are not voting. Not voting is not an option!

Every democracy has a foundation of brave men and women who fought for that freedom. Some paid with their lives and others with their reputations. They made it possible for everyone to have a say in the creation of laws and regulations. All to ensure votes are not determined by race, creed, or sexual orientation. There is no doubt those heroes would be deeply disappointed to discover that some persons opted not to exercise this privilege.

Not voting is nothing short of cowardice. It means that these individuals have become unsure of what they believe in. They have self-doubt to the point that they are unable to determine if life is now better or worse for them. Many of these individuals, especially in a two-party system, use the excuse that both parties are the same. This is non-factual as each political party has stark differences in ideals and approaches toward rectifying social ills.  Even if this were the case, there are always independent parties and candidates who can appease even the most discerning voter.

Throwing political tantrums and opting not to vote does not mean the election will be cancelled. Your absence at the polls will not result in the candidates being eliminated from the race. Society will continue without you.

Registered voters are held to a higher standard. The fact that they possess a voter’s card implies that they thought it important to obtain one. They once believed that they could make a difference in their society by contributing to its leadership. This is the reason they took the time and effort to become registered. Ironically, it is almost guaranteed that these non-voting persons will be the most vocal in their circles about the state of their communities and country.

It must be noted that derogatory comments and inflammatory memes are no substitute for voting. There are persons who lull themselves into believing that commenting on social media makes a difference in the community-at-large. Sarcastic attacks on the pages of friends and family who have the backbone to make a choice is nothing more than cynicism.

Voting is not to be treated like a sport. We do not get to stand on the sidelines and critique how the game was played. Especially when we had an opportunity to contribute to its success. Those of you who choose not to vote need to overcome your fear of failure. Nobody will blame you for choosing a side. You will not be alienated for agreeing with the objectives of a particular party. Yes, your vote may contribute to an economic crisis or the disenfranchisement of many, but at least you chose a side.

Remember, nobody needs to know your choice. There is a reason we enter voting booths alone. Try to find the positive things that were accomplished. Weigh them against the not-so-stellar items and there lies your decision. If you choose not to rise from your gluteus maximus on election day, do not vocalize your opinion on any matter that originates from the offices of elected officials. Continue to coast through life while the rest of us determine your future, but please do so in silence.

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