Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Importance of Voting.

I feel compelled to talk about something that has been bothering me for a number of years now. I am referring to the lack of interest when it comes to voting. Admittedly, voting has risen in recent election, but not enough. We still only have about 50-60% of the country voting. Youth voting (those 18-24) is less than 50% on average. I personally find this disgusting. I hear all the time how corrupt our politicians are and how they end up screwing you over. This logic leads people to stay away from the polls. Well, guess what? If you don't vote you are one of the people that put that crook there. Voting is our number one right. With this right we can not only get those in office who share our beliefs and value systems, but it also gives us a chance to add more rights to our list. When you vote you are not just voting for some schmuck. In a lot of cases you are voting on what is going to be done with our school, how our taxes will be divided up, whether you can marry the person you choose to marry, and many other things.

Voting is also important if you are a minority group. More and more is being done for the blacks, the gays, the  Hispanics, etc, but how much and how fast is a matter of who gets elected. If someone who is not sympathetic to your cause doesn't get in...that's going to be a setback. 

I know that as a gay man it is important to get GLBTQ friendly candidates elected. This does not just stop at the Presidential level either. In all reality, the general elections are more important to me than the president. Who we elect for congress will make more of an impact in the long run. Think about it. Who actually makes our laws? It's not the president. He can push to get a law passed. He can recommend a law be introduced, but he can't actually make the laws. So, we need to pay attention to the Congressional races even more so than the Presidential races. 

To go back to my previous point, I would like to remind people of the old saying, 'No  vote...no opinion". If you do not find it important enough to vote then you should not find it important enough to bitch. Simply put, when you don't vote you are clearly saying you don't care. A lot of people who say, 'Yeah, I don't. It's not  like my vote really matters." To those people I would like to say...You're wrong. Your vote only has no meaning if you don't use it. 

I also hear people say, "I don't vote because I don't know who to vote for". Again, this is a lame excuse. It is very easy to look the candidates up on the internet. Most newspapers usually do a spread on the local and Presidential candidates during election time. All you have to do is see how each candidate stacks up on the issues important to you and go with the one who has the closest to your ideology. 

To my friends in the GLBTQ community and our allies, it is important for us to elect sympathetic candidates now more than ever, I think. With the rising attention to gay suicides and adding of states who either vote for or against gay marriage, it is imperative that we get off our butts and use the voices we have to show the world that we don't demand special treatment. We demand being treated like everyone else. I was talking to my friend Thang last night. I was commenting on his post on Facebook commenting on the suicide of  Joseph Jefferson stating, "This is really too bad. We HAVE to make it better, y'all. We just have to..."
I couldn't agree more with his statement. We HAVE to make it better and we have to do better to ensure the hate and bigotry can someday soon be erased. 

I'm not saying you have to immerse yourself into the political world, but at least give a damn. Elections are what steers our country on it's path. Do you want it to go in a way the helps you or limits you? That is what it comes down to. You don't have to work for some candidate, rally at the conventions, and march in the parade for them, but you need to at least vote for them. 

Voting today is a lot easier than it used to be. There is satellite voting/ early voting options and absentee ballots. I chose to vote absentee this year because I wanted to make sure my vote was counted, but I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to the polls on the 2nd. All I had to do was request an absentee ballot through a specific form. You can find them online. I got the ballot in the mail, filled it out, and mailed it back. I did it all while sitting in my underwear. It's just that easy. 

I know this post has been rather long, but I hope it helps some of you understand why voting is such and importance. Please make a serious effort to get to the polls this year's election and all the ones thereafter.
~Drew Ronny

*A message to my GLBTQ family in Iowa. This election is very important. We must make sure that we not only keep the democrats in office, but we vote to retain the 3 judges on the Iowa Supreme Court. If these goals are not met, then the Republicans are most assuredly going to try and amend the state constitution to marriage being only between one man and one woman. If the judges aren't retained, then there may not be anyone who can say, "This is unconstitutional". So, please, I stress to you. Get out and vote. There opportunities for early voting if you cannot make it to the polls Nov. 2nd. Please look inot them.I can help you find out information if you need it. Just message me here or email me at thegr8arp@gmail.com *

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