The stigma surrounding politics in the United States has never been stronger. You are either a Democrat or Republican, there can be no in-between.
In the eyes of some Republicans, Democrats are socialists who want to destroy American democracy. My uncle, for example, recently called me “mentally ill” because of my liberal political beliefs. But at the same time, in the eyes of some Democrats, Republicans are uneducated racists with double standards.
I recently had a political conversation with a relative after the classic family Zoom-meeting-gone-wrong, in which the call abruptly ended while everyone was screaming about the upcoming election. This specific relative, a small business owner and Trump supporter, was defending their decision to support the current Administration. But while we debated — and tried very hard to prevent it from becoming an argument— it was clear we both would not sway from our opinions. In the end, I asked this relative to vote in November with my younger cousins and I in mind, and they responded by saying, “I always do.”
It’s hard to respect ideas and opinions that are different from our own, and I’m certainly not writing this article to ask you to, but it’s time we realize arguing will not always create the change we hope for. Instead, it causes division. My grandmother, an 83 year old woman, sent an email to our family after this specific Zoom call to say that she will no longer be joining our weekly meetings because she hates how politics have destroyed us. How the hell did politics get to this point?
I don’t expect American voters to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but we as a nation have reached our all-time low. I, like everyone else, want to yell and scream at people for being ignorant about politics and current events. But there’s only one action that guarantees social, political, and economic change: VOTING.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, vote on November 3rd; your political affiliation doesn’t matter to me. I’m sick and tired of my friends and family being angry about the two candidates offered to them. Don’t abstain because you’re afraid of betraying your moral beliefs. Political morality flew out the door decades ago.
If you abstain from voting this election season, shame on you. Voting is a democratic right others around the world don’t have. Appreciate it — cherish it for all I care. But for the love of God, please just vote.
If you or someone you know have questions about voting or need to apply for your overseas ballot, check out the links below:
To request an absentee ballot (do so as soon as possible!): https://www.fvap.gov/fpca-privacy-notice
How to register to vote (do so as soon as possible if not already registered!): https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote
General information about voting: https://www.usa.gov/voting