Dear Friends, It’s likely you’re consumed with the news of the day, schoolwork,
Is it Still Worth It?
I’ve had convos with young, eligible voters who dis voter registration and voting in general. From these conversations, I have brief moments where I doubt my personal foundation and life’s meaning, I’m not mad at them – I don’t like it, but I understand.
Got my voter registration card around August 19, 1983. True story though – I sat out a year and was well into year 19 before I thought I needed to be registered to vote. Registering to vote was too confusing and ridiculously inconvenient. I always assumed that since it was my birthright I was good to go on my eighteenth. Hey, if the Feds could find me to make sure I paid my taxes and to prep me up to fight, then was it unusual to expect that I would just get my voter reg card in the mail
I did something unthinkable: ditched work to go register to vote. The impending election of the President in my life got me fired up. The trash talking candidates – and my nagging dad – made it plain that it was time for me to get into the game. For me, a few of them were eloquently bold and politically cold. I saw a person or two who I felt would persistent on my behalf and challenge me and my generation to dream and to achieve something important for the country. I was drawn to one candidate who laid it down – don’t just try to do what’s possible when the system is busted.
The issues the men who wanted to be President beefed over were issues that I owned, too: war; equality; joblessness; urban spots that did not empower young people; my safety; and, help for people in need. On the strength, I identified with a tone of defiance from a few of the candidates. I thought I would be allowed to have a voice in the making of the country. This was the first time politicians motivated me.
As that guy with roots in the country’s segregated past, I felt that my little vote would finally be effective. The Ancestors would be pleased.
Any progress on these issues? Should the motivation to participate always have to come from a politician? Are these still the issues that matter for the 16-24 year old set?
Peace (with a reprise of an existential Voter’s Playlist).