Please go vote – Lessons learned from an immigrant
Just because we have local, state and federal representatives does not mean that you should sit back and just watch what your delegates are doing. You cannot rely on “other” people doing the right thing at the right time. What we have here in the United States of America is something worth protecting, extending and emulating.
I am an immigrant from Europe, Germany to be exact, and have traveled and lived in a few different places. By far the U.S.A. is the most inspiring country. We have a culture of tolerance and integration. I am thankful to Germany. My upbringing, education, apprenticeship, parents, grandparents, sister, and friends shaped me who I am. Who I can be, I owe to America. Just think of it; the only barrier in your way is yourself (Click to tweet this). Where else can you find so many people and organizations that are willing to help you make a living here? This fertile ground nurtures mind, body and soul. The sky is truly the limit.
I do not take this lightly. I was so grateful for the tolerance, help, inspiration, and most of all the opportunities that this country and its people have afforded me that I became dual citizen. Two years ago I earned my citizenship and thus am allowed to vote.
Why is it so important? You need not look far for reasons, but I have listed a few refreshers that may help you get out of the office or off the couch and vote.
- Apathy is the beginning of the end. I get it. You feel powerless and sometimes it feels overpowering how many choices there are of people and positions to vote for. Does it matter anyway? Most folks that are even moderately unhappy will not go vote. Only people who either vote out of principle, or have really strong feeling seem to go vote. That is terrible and as a German it is a personal pet-peeve of mine. In high school our teachers pounded it into us that a set of terrible circumstances helped get Hitler into power. One of the most disturbing things was the indifference and self-centeredness of Germans toward tolerance and peace. I am not an alarmist, but think back to how many local elections you made an effort to do some research and go vote later? You have helped make it possible for radical ideas to pass you right by because there may just not be enough votes to go around to be against such things and people.
- But you are responsible. Some of you may not want to be held responsible for choosing the next candidate. What if the candidate is a dud and an outright failure? Your motion is appreciated and yet, not making a choice is also a choice. If you still feel like not voting, please do everyone a great favor: Do not gripe in social or work settings. Please keep it to yourself and family – or go vote.
- The power of one. Yes, I have heard this before how your one vote cannot possibly make that much of a difference. Perhaps that is so at the micro level, but this scales up really easily. A few more think this way and then more and more do not go just because their one vote does not matter. And now you have a storm brewing because the one vote turned into the majority who did not go. Start with yourself and make a difference.
- Influencing matters. Delegates make important decisions, but you get to decide what is important.
- Greed and power corrupt. Are you not sick of how many elected officials end up in legal trouble or at least in the news about their questionable conduct? Are you happy with that? Our founders risked life and everything they had for us and many, many people died for us in wars trying to protect what we enjoy today. When you see folks that are just too weasely than please get up and make a difference by casting your vote to get them out of their positions.
- When you do not like what you see get involved. There so many issues today that are in desperate need of great people to ponder and make decisions on. How do you feel about some of them? Are you happy with where they are now? What are you waiting for.
- A staple of democracy. Just think of how thinks can go awfully wrong and you do not have to look far. 12 years ago I visited Venezuela and I cannot recognize it today anymore just because one man managed to manipulate his way through democracy turning it into what it is today. It encompasses more and more elements of a dictatorship. Why? People did not participate in democracy when they had a chance.
Please do not take your opportunity to make a difference lightly. To me it is inconsequential whom you vote for; it is more important to me that truly have a majority of people make their voice heard. Go vote and if you cannot do that because you are not registered, make this election the reason to finally do so.