I’m terribly sorry, but I need to interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to remind you that you need to vote.
(This post is centered on a U.S. audience because Election Day is the day after this post goes live. But it equally applies to everyone.)
Table of Contents
Your vote counts more now
Voting, especially in an “off-year” (non-presidential) election, is one of the ways where you can exercise your right to vote most effectively.
Why are off-years so special? For the unfortunate reason that fewer people bother to vote in them. Voter turnout in the U.S., already abysmal, gets positively pitiful in off-years.
For example, in 2016, a presidential election, 60.1% of the eligible voter population voted, while in 2014, only 36.7% voted. That’s appalling.
The only thing we have to fear
It can feel like a scary time to be an American these days, no matter what your political leaning. Because of this, many people retrench into fear, and vote accordingly.
But I urge you to see beyond your fear right now.
Fear is an all-encompassing emotion, and it can be hard to see past it. But it’s vital, especially now, for when we act only in fear, we retrench, we close off, we stifle. We are not open in those moments, neither to our fellow community members nor to good ideas.
What would you do if you had no fear?
That’s a phrase that’s been bouncing around in my life for a while now. And it’s a hard question to answer, mainly because fear is so blinding. “Yeah yeah, whatever, it doesn’t matter, because I have fear!”
But that’s why it’s important for us to at least see when we are operating from a fear mindset. Because once we are aware of it, there’s a fighting chance of moving beyond it.
If you don’t know how much your actions are based in fear, you’re lost.
This affects you
As far as this election cycle goes, there will certainly be effects to our personal financial situations. That tax bill that was passed last year affected all of us, in ways that we haven’t yet totally seen. And the geopolitical situation affects the stock market, which affects everyone who is invested in pretty much anything.
You may think your vote doesn’t matter. It’s understandable to feel that way, though the evidence recently has been pointing to the contrary. In Virginia a race was tied—tied!—and required a tie-breaker that consisted of picking a name at random. The 2016 presidential election was decided by 80,000 votes across three states.
If you think your vote doesn’t matter, then, contrarily, there’s no reason not to vote. The worst that will happen is nothing.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If you don’t know how much your actions are based in fear, you’re lost.[/perfectpullquote]
If you are able to vote, please do so. Vote your conscience. Vote for what you think is right. Just leave fear at home. There’s no room for it in the polling place. And it takes up too much room in our lives anyway.