Now is the Time
I am ruminating… have been for a long time. It’s gotten worse this year, but it’s been going on since the lead up to the election in 2016. “How can I make a difference? What should I be doing? Who can help change the trajectory humanity is on?…” These questions and too many others swirl around my head over and over, like a dog chasing its tail. But the answers haven’t come… until now.
I am a writer, and the written word is powerful. I was in the shower a couple of days ago, ruminating, when it hit me. I could canvas or phone bank or letter write, but my strength lies in my ability to strings words together, to transcend misunderstanding and share emotion. Two weeks remain until the citizens of my country utilize the most powerful right they have… the right to vote.
I know what would happen if each and every one of my compatriots honored that right. The United States of America, as un-united as it is in recent days, would experience a change in presidential administration come January 2021.
Some would say I cannot know that for certain… I cannot estimate the results of the votes that would be cast.
But I do know.
All you have to do is look at 2 things: the percentage of eligible voters who don’t exercise their right to vote, and the party they’d be likely to vote for if they turned out and cast a ballot.
No time to do the research? I did it for you…
The turnout for presidential elections has averaged 57% over the past several decades, but that percentage is comprised of a higher portion of white voters than voters of color. To this dynamic, add the fact that Black, Hispanic and Asian voters lean Democratic, while white voters lean slightly Republican.
Based on these statistics alone, if every eligible voter were to register to vote and cast a ballot, the increase in the number of votes from people of color would be greater than the increase in white votes. It follows that if the partisan leanings hold, the country would elect a new Democratic president on November 3, 2020.
Another dynamic to consider is the turnout of younger vs older voters. Only 40% of 18–24 year-olds and 50% of 25–44 years-olds have voted on average over the last several decades. These stats are matched by the fact that younger people lean Democratic and older people lean Republican. So again, if everyone voted on November 3rd, and partisan demographics remained consistent, greater numbers of young people than older people would join the voting ranks, and a Democrat would be elected president.
Translation: While Americans are more aligned with the principles and priorities of the Democratic Party, either party can win any given election because we don’t all vote- far from it.
Why doesn’t everyone vote? Why do fewer people of color vote? Why don’t more young people vote?
I don’t intend to answer these questions here, but suffice to say there is no one single answer, and the answers are internal, external, personal, demographic, and multi-factorial.
My goal is not to discuss why people don’t exercise perhaps the most important and basic right of living in the United States of America. Rather, I’m trying to 1) shed light on the impact non-voters could have if they chose to vote, and to 2) encourage these same people to vote within the next 14 days.
To my reader: I don’t care how you vote, just that you do vote.
Because on November 3, 2020, whether you know it or not, your future is on the line. There is a line in the sand that we are about to cross. By “WE” I mean humanity. If we cross that line, our world will change. Your world will change. My world will change. And NOT in a good way. Everyone’s world will change, whether they live in the U.S. or not.
People often say “Voting won’t change a thing in MY life,” or “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House, my life won’t change.” Well, I’ve got news for you… Dr. T (that’s me!) says “Sit up and take notes.” This is not the same old election. This is not the same old drive to get you to vote.
This is a global imperative. Our world is most assuredly at that great tipping point in the sky, and if we don’t vote for a change in administration, YOUR life is going to change, and NOT for the better. If we don’t vote for a change in leadership, 2021 and beyond will not be SOSDD (same old shit, different day), it will be a descent into hell. Our world’s trajectory is negative in just about every way…
Mass shootings, hate crimes, systemic racism, unprecedented polarity, addiction, suicide, obesity, chronic disease, escalating refugees, oceans of waste, global warming, climate change, political upheaval, economic polarity, food scarcity, wildfires, locust swarms, species extinction, cyberbullying, and need I mention a COVID-19 pandemic…
We take for granted the right to free speech, the right to vote, the right to live how and where we like, the right to express ourselves, and the right to a fair and just government. These rights are in jeopardy. It is not simply a matter of which version of “the news,” fake or otherwise, you choose to watch; it’s a matter of whether or not we want our country to continue to be the home we know, founded on constitutional principle.
What do we want?
Are we a democracy or a dictatorship? Are we a country of moral values or corruption? Are we a compassionate people or are we willing to throw our neighbors under the bus? Do we stand for life and liberty for all, or the chosen few?
Do we want to do what it takes to make America truly great for ALL, regardless of color, gender identity, socioeconomic status, pre-existing conditions, religion, sexual preference, disability or impairment, country of origin, spoken language, age, geographic location, education, worldview, etc., or are we satisfied with making America great again for the white, the wealthy and the powerful?
Again, I know there are reasons why people don’t vote. Some of those reasons have nothing to do with personal choice. But for those who abstain by choice, now is the time to change your mind. Whatever your reason for not voting, please reconsider the choice. If you have already voted, or already have a plan to vote, consider one additional thing you could do to encourage one other person to vote. The ripple you make in the pond today will echo for years to come, and you will feel just a bit more comfortable with whatever the outcome is post-election day.
Please realize that even if you are not particularly enamored of either party or candidate, even if you believe neither party nor candidate values you or the group you identify with, this choice will determine the quality of life for ALL global citizens for the foreseeable future. And for those living in the United States of America, the choice you make in the next 14 days will be one you remember for a long, long time. Not voting is not a choice, it is a surrender.