The invaluable power of your vote


Graphic by Aniket Panicker

Uncle Sam insists that you vote today. Your contribution can decide the outcome of an innumerable amount of issues such as, but not limited to, an economic crises, an environmental crises, abortion, among many others. Graphic created in Canva.

Today is an important day. More important than most days, actually.

It’s the beginning of a new grading cycle, and I’m sure we’re all equally (not) excited about that. More importantly, today’s the day you get to decide the future of this country for the next two years and beyond.

That’s right. It’s election day, also known as the midterms.

No, thankfully, it’s not the exams we have to take in two months. It’s actually a great deal more important than that.

It has more pressure attached to it than any double or triple digit number on your PowerSchool home page, and it impacts a lot more than just your chances of getting into a good college. It impacts the country. And more importantly, it impacts your current physical environment.

It can decide the outcome of an innumerable amount of issues such as, but not limited to, an economic crises, an environmental crises, abortion, among many others. Issues such as these could hold enough severity to affect your life today, at this very moment.

And right now, you have the power to decide how these issues look in the near future. But you already knew that; so why am I writing this?

Because someone else doesn’t. Or because you forgot. Or because I want to remind myself that my voice matters in this system which views me as just another tiny cog in its grand scheme of incomprehensibly devious intricacies. Or maybe it’s just a mixture of everything. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that, more often than not, we forget that things can change. I, myself, am guilty of thinking that way. And to be honest, I can’t even be mad at myself for thinking like that.

I mean, look around. A murder here, a financial crisis there, and inequality literally everywhere. So of course we would be pessimistic, it’s only reasonable.

And that’s exactly the moment where we lose. The moment our minds tell us that ‘there is no point’ or that ‘nothing is going to change,’ is exactly when they, the politicians who run this machine we call America, get exactly what they want.

Because once you think that, you’ve given up your will to vote. And once you’ve done that, you’ve become just as insignificant to the politicians as an ant is to a human. Then that idea of ‘insignificance’ spreads like wildfire and accelerates due to the influences of social media until eventually, before you know it, it has encapsulated an entire generation.

‘Power,’ or the sense and practice of authority, like all other desires, is tempting. Once you have it, you don’t want to lose it. Plain and simple.

And how do you retain it? You make others feel like they don’t have enough of it, or any of it to begin with.

That’s exactly our state sometimes. We forget that the constitution starts out as “We the people” not “You the absolute.” And even when we do remember what that statement means, the weight that it holds, we forget that each one of us: you, me, our families, our friends, are all a part of that “We.”

That’s why today is important. Not because it’s election day, not because some person is promising you things you know are too good to come true this instant, not even because you have a bunch of upcoming assignments that you know will no doubt give you a headache in the future.

But because today is the day that you let all those politicians who aspire for, or desire to keep, their seat in congress know that “We the people” are more than just a single demographic or age group that allows for their success and rise to power. That we are just as loud and equal in our voice as we are different in our color.

But they don’t recognize that yet. And they never will, unless we make them realize it first hand.

And today, as regular as it may seem to you, is your one chance to do exactly that. So make sure it counts.

Go vote.