If You Don’t Vote, Your Opinion Won’t Matter
Well hello there strangers! Long time no see. It has been a busy few months for me, but I’m happy to be back and contributing to Law Street once again. Especially as we are well into presidential campaign season, and that provides endless fodder for social commentary–which of course I enjoy watching and participating in from the safety of my desk.
Given that it is 2015 and the Internet plays a larger role than ever in the day-to-day lives of American voters, it is no shock that the 2016 election will be one for the history books. That fact is already evident, as the front-runners on either side of the political divide are a woman, a Democratic Socialist, and a hairpiece!
Don’t even get me started on him.
Heated political debates run rampant across social media platforms, as they always do, but are joined by viral videos, .gifs and even memes of candidates that are strategically released to try and sway voters one way or another.
The key word here, of course, is “voters,” and if you are over 18 and a United States citizen–that means you! You, the person sitting on their couch watching Netflix, who shared that video of Bernie Sanders on “Late Night with Seth Myers,” or followed the Texts from Hillary Clinton tumblr account. You, weighing the pros and cons of jumping in a Facebook comment feed about the difference between Socialism and Communism. You, an average American citizen, who might not be a Democrat or a Republican, but falls somewhere in between.
It does not matter who you support or what you believe in; if you don’t back those beliefs up by using your right to vote at caucuses, primaries or general elections, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to make a difference. I know it sounds cliche to say this, but it is not a lie that every vote counts.
Now, I have to back up my “go vote!” message with a word of caution: do your research. Since the Internet is such an enormous tool for the 2016 elections, it follows that NOT EVERYTHING YOU READ ONLINE IS TRUE.
I know, shocking. *Calls for smelling salts.*
Beware before you share, my friends. Take a closer look at that website with the article called “PROOF! [insert candidate name here] IS A NAZI!”. Does it also have a bunch of other articles about conspiracy theories with no actual facts backing it up? If you search for it on Snopes.com, does it say “FALSE” in big red letters? Exactly. Instead of searching for inflammatory information on candidates you dislike, focus on the candidates you do like, and don’t believe everything your Facebook friends post. What issues are the most important to you? Which candidates support your opinion on those issues most thoroughly? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself. Being an educated voter is just as important as being a voter in the first place.
So go, register, and enjoy your right to have a say in who runs our country. I certainly will.