Charged up for the VOTE
Fall is in the air and I was sitting here sipping some apple cinnamon tea. The warmth and the spice got me fired up and thinking about the upcoming election. This election really matters. Voting is essential. We need to do more than sit around drinking tea, wine, or anything else. We need to vote. I am so charged up about the issue this year, that there’s going to be plenty of tea spilling in this piece!
Not Really Political
Now I don’t consider myself a political person or an astute, informed voter. I always blamed my busyness, for why I didn’t learn more or care more about the voting process. To me it was merely an exercise that I felt obligated to complete. However, this election is more important than ever– to know more and vote even earlier than usual. So much has happened in 2020, this has been an unrivaled year that featured unraveling of all sorts.
As soon as my ballot arrived in the mail, I dutifully read, completed, and cast my ballot the next day. I patted myself on the back. However, I heard people mumbling, grumbling, cursing, shouting, and debating when I was in various spaces. They were talking about the election and voting, the value or worthlessness of the endeavor. I also read reports of lackluster participation in the voting process for years, capturing just 55% of eligible voters in the 2016 election.
I recently heard Don Lemon’s interview with Cedric Humphrey, the young man that asked Biden what he had to offer the Black community. Humphrey also shared that some of his peers questioned whether voting accomplishes anything. Though the young man questioned whether he received an adequate answer from Biden, something must have struck a cord, as he announced he was voting for Biden. I felt compelled to write this piece to encourage everyone who is eligible, to vote.
“Slavery is not abolished until the Black man has the ballot.”
Frederick Douglass, 1865
Never Mind This or That
Now is the time to exercise your right to vote. But don’t vote just because history dictates that we should honor those who came before us and insured our right to do this simple act. Never mind that 155 years ago Frederick Douglas spoke what is true, “slavery is not abolished until the Black man has the ballot.”Never mind the truth that even though Black American men were granted the right to vote in 1870, poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather status, land ownership, and lynching kept these men from exercising their rights.
Never mind that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote/women’s suffrage, yet Black women were not afforded the same right as the White women. Never mind that Black women were forced to have White babies suckling their breasts for nourishment, but they could not vote until 1965.
Never mind that some of the same tactics that were implored decades ago are still being utilized to keep people from voting. Never mind the thought that if voting had no impact then why would anyone need to try to suppress the vote. Never mind the fact that the current President has set a tone for divisiveness, racial hatred, white supremacy, and sheer stupidity. Never mind, that this President has mis-managed COVID-19 and yet continues to ‘know more’ than the real scientists.
Never mind and then set your mind to exercise your right, your power to vote.
As the late, great Maya Angelou said, “You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich. But remember this- in an election, every voice is equally powerful- don’t underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.”Tweet
If your political views are different from your family, friends, or neighbors, that’s okay. A healthy discussion about candidates and ballot initiatives can be helpful. But in the end, you have the right to vote the way you want to. Tell them to mind their business.
Why is it Important to Vote?
There are many reasons to vote. One reason to vote is because you can. You can determine the outcome of an election. Another reason is to stop the bleeding. This current President claimed he was going to Make America Great Again. He has demonstrated what he meant by this. Many of us knew when he made this proclamation. Anyone remember, massa – slave?
The President has had the opportunity to create a better United States, yet he has done just the opposite. He has opened old wounds and created others. He appears to be hoping for the DIVIDED STATES or the DICTATOR’S STATES of America. He has driven the wedge between many of the different factions. He insists on confederate relics and installations remaining in place. They belong in museums to chronicle the history of what the Nation was. These folks are not heroes so these monuments should not remain erected in public spaces and serve as reminders of…….
Anyway, he has taken pride in othering people-not everyone can be orange. He has bullied the scientists that should be acting in the best interest of people to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He has forced them to release information, rush treatment guidelines, and even had them, swallowing their medical training, as he eluded to consuming deadly potions such as bleach or Lysol. The man could not even hold a Bible right side up when he was encouraging churches to get back to business despite a horrible pandemic. He frequently called COVID-19 the “China Virus”, sparking hate crimes against Asians. This is despite the fact that a lot of the cases in New York, actually came by way of Italy.
WE need to exercise our right to vote so that Medicare will remain funded. The current President says he will support it but the account will be empty. Have you ever tried to withdraw money from a bank account that had insufficient funds to cover the transaction? Not going to happen!
Voting for Health
What about voting for health? Election outcomes could dictate whether you will have health insurance at all, whether a chronic condition including COVID-19 will be held against you as a preexisting condition. Or you may find that being on your parents insurance until age 26 will be eliminated. We need to vote for not only the President but also other elected officials and policies that we can hold accountable. This perhaps may be more easily accomplished than holding a President in check.
And, and, once WE vote. WE can’t just sit back with our legs crossed. We have to hold those in office accountable. Never mind whether your candidate or your cause won or lost. In a two man race there has to be a winner and a loser. However, no matter who prevails, we cannot just give them a pass. WE need to stay on their _ _ _. Push them to do the work for which they were elected. Call, write, put up a fight if things are not corrected, set straight, gotten on the right track.
Exercise the Right
My purpose is not to tell people how or who to vote for. I just want to see people exercise the right that is theirs. I will confess that I am hoping that the presidential vote will return in favor of a new team that hopefully can carry us in a better direction. A team that is articulate, better suited, is more inclusive, empathetic but strong, a leader yet a listener, and lets the scientist do their job to keep us safe. Let’s continue the fight until we achieve our goals.
VOTE as if your life and health depend on it!Tweet