Finally. After what seemingly was the longest campaign season off ALL THE TIMES, we’ve arrived at Election Day.
It’s the day that some of you have convinced yourselves as the last day before everything finally returns to normal.
No more attack ads, no more scandals. No more rambling about emails and walls. No more uninformed talking heads talking out of their behinds. No more family members being totally obnoxious on Facebook.
And if you think all THAT ends on November 9, you must be new to America.
Listen, I know this election season has sucked worse than a Soulja Boy and Bow Wow joint mixtape.
Yes, that’s a real thing.
But here’s the reality – no matter which side of the political fence you’re sitting on, our country is ailing. And this election is your opportunity to heal it.
Unfortunately, there are far too many people in my life who’ve said they’ve opted to sit this election out. They’re sick of the rhetoric, sick of arguing, and frankly just sick of the candidates.
But to sit out an election because you’re simply irritated by American politics is the height of privilege.
If you’re not planning to vote, consider this – this election is not just about you. And it’s not even just about Sen. Clinton or Mr. Trump – those aren’t the only two names on today’s ballots. Look beyond Washington and look in your own backyards. Withholding your vote could deny your city needed infrastructure. It could cost your child quality eduction or your loved ones adequate health care. Local elections don’t get the press of national drama but their impact is much more immediate.
You deserve to have a role in the shaping of your community. That starts at the polls.
Look, democracy isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s not the flawless, apple pie-smelling, flag waving, fireworks sparkling system it often pretends to be. Instead, it’s a tough, daunting process. But here’s the kicker – you’re a vital part of that process. When you remove yourself from that process, the system sputters.
Whether you want to admit it or not, you have a voice. Why limit it to Facebook statuses and corny memes? That ballot speaks louder than any tweet you could send.
As a black man living in the cradle of the civil-rights movement, I dare not bury my head in the sand on Election Day. In my grandparents’ lifetime, dogs, fire hoses, cowards in white sheets and burning crosses kept black men and women from the polls – how dare I fold my arms and whine because my preferred candidate was removed from the race prematurely? How could I look in the faces of my elderly church members – those who protested and suffered terrible indignities so that I could have a voice in this country – and tell them my vote doesn’t matter?
I can’t. Because I know my vote does matter.
I hope you realize yours does too.