My family emigrated to the West in hopes of starting a new life. A life where freedom was not only present but written into the Constitution by the country’s forefathers. This isn’t an isolated or unique experience. Millions of immigrants flee their homelands in search of the American Dream. But, it’s in these trying times when we must remember how truly fortunate we are to be sovereign citizens of the United States of America.
In less than three weeks, we’ll elect a President. Whether it’s the incumbent, Donald J. Trump, or former Vice-President Joe Biden isn’t of utmost importance to me. I’m skeptical by default. The older I get, the less I believe it matters who takes the Oval Office. In my heart, they’re all the same. In front of cameras, they go after one another’s throats, but I’m fairly certain that when the cameras stop rolling, they’re members of the same team; the elite.
I told you already I’m a cynic to the bone. But that won’t stop me from voting. Why? Because my family left all we knew behind to build better lives in a nation where democracy was, and hopefully still is a core tenet. Further, I will never publicly shame a fellow American for who they cast their ballot in favor of; to me, that’s the antithesis of being an American. I will, however, shake my head in disappointment if you choose to avoid voting altogether.
Some of you are probably thinking I’m a hypocrite. You’ll cite that your decision not to vote is part of your rights as a free, sound-minded citizen. And if so, you wouldn’t be wrong. Abstaining from the voting process is a decision in its own right. But before you go down this road, I implore you to think of the countless human beings around the globe that don’t possess the innate freedoms we as Americans tend to take for granted.
Individuals inhabiting undemocratic states would do anything to have the freedoms you and I have. And more often than not, that’s exactly what they do. They leave loved ones behind, they risk their own welfare, they abandon all worldly possessions. All of this just to have the opportunity to set foot on American soil.
Circle November 3rd, 2020 on your calendar. And should apathy govern your approach to the coming election, stop for a moment, and think about how priceless suffrage is. Left, Right, Liberal, Conservative, Independent; whichever side of the aisle you happen to be on, please cast your vote, and let the chips fall where they may. Does America have warts? Undeniably so. Is it the greatest country in the world? Damn right.
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