Over the past 25 years, a disturbing trend of voter apathy has emerged. Now, It’s at a critical point that threatens the very foundation of what the United States of America is based on.
Today, the general attitude toward the election process is jaded, to put it mildly. Partially, this is due to the “comfort zone” that many Americans born in the last century have settled into, forgetting the history of the process that had to be endured for all citizens to enjoy this privilege.
Even as we’ve listened to the State of the Union address over the past 5 years, where our elected head of state has extolled the virtues of bringing the democratic process to a foreign land and with thousands dying to participate in their elections, the importance of guarding this privilege seems to have escaped the comprehension of many.
The laws that govern America are written by our elected representatives (there are thousands of laws on the books). While most people think about the voting process in relation to the election of people, many times citizens are called upon to cast their ballot on environmental, civic and social issues. Adopting an apathetic attitude toward the voting process not only affects the quality of your daily life in the here and now, but also threatens the enjoyment of freedom in the lives of the generations to come.
Perhaps it is time to look at the voting process from a different perspective. Let’s imagine for a moment that all of the individuals who feel that their vote doesn’t matter are correct. If every citizen cast aside this privilege, what recourse will you have to voice your opposition to an action or policy that will harm the environment or impact the lives of your children?
Think for a moment how the dots could be connected from low voter turnout to justifying a decision to eliminate the voting process altogether. “Use it or lose it” is a commonplace statement that could well be applied to this situation.
At the present moment, there are people struggling against great odds to protect our civil liberties that we enjoy without understanding the true value of what is at stake.
To be fair, it must be said that there are many contributing factors to voter apathy; working within a framework that includes many outdated laws, pressured by the stress of crime and corruption, the cost of living, as well as frustration with the grueling process of bringing effective change to the level of government that is responsible for a certain policy are key points that can overwhelm the mind.
Every citizen that takes their liberties for granted and assumes that nothing will change if they vote, is living in a dangerous reality. Our lives and the issues that affect us are constantly changing and will continue to do so, with or without our participation. The value of casting our ballots rests in our ability to have our say on HOW we want the change to take place.