I Regret My Political Apathy
I have been able to vote in the last five presidential elections, not to mention countless state/local elections. I’m embarrassed to say that out of those five, I only voted in four, and of the local elections, I probably voted in three or less. And frankly, the only reason I voted in any local election because my mom worked the polls and encouraged me to. My votes in those local elections were for people my mom suggested because I failed to do my own research.
For my political apathy, I am sorry. I’m sorry to my city, state and fellow countrymen. Being born into a Reagan Administration, and having the pendulum swing almost every 8 years from Republican to Democrat (with the exception of the Regan/Bush era), I was under the impression that although I would not like everything from any leader, we would always be okay.
I could not have been more wrong.
I’m sorry I did not examine Obama’s presidency more carefully. I’m sorry I did not speak out on things he did (or didn’t do) that I was against. If I could go back, I would. I would vote in every election. I would make my voice heard at Town Hall meetings. I would be an engaged citizen. I would be an informed voter.
The result of me, and others like me, sitting comfortably and thinking that our voices do not matter, that our votes won’t make a difference, are part of the reason we are where we are today. Our rights are being threatened. Our press is being demonized. Our leaders are blatantly LYING to our faces over and over.
Would things be different had I been more involved? Perhaps. There is no guarantee. But I am here now. I am ready now. I am reading and reading and fact checking and cutting through all the hysteria to become an informed constituent. I will make my voice heard amongst my local elected officials.
I will criticize the current administration. I will stand up for those who are being marginalized and discriminated against. If the administration does something I agree with, I will speak out. I will vote with my dollars. I will call my elected officials. I will be at the Town Hall meetings.
I will not go away quietly. I will not suck it up. You can call me a snowflake. You can call me a crybaby. You can call me anything you want, but I will not stop now.
My complacency of the past is regrettable, but it is no reason to stop me from moving forward and standing up for American values.