Exercise your right

Written by: Abigail Chaff

I always felt like I was too cool to vote. I was above the discussions and the arguments that come along with a presidential campaign. How is anyone supposed to choose a leader when, more often than not, each option is terrible?

Does anyone tell the truth anymore? Is any debate really about the issues, or is it about who can best passive-aggressively put down the other? How many truly amazing candidates are out there that we will never know about because they do not have the millions of dollars it takes to fund a campaign?

Presidential elections aren’t about what’s best for the country; they are about who looks the best in a suit, and who commands the most attention with the least threatening pointed finger.

This time around, I wanted to show my disgust with the United States by abstaining from voting. I was not going to be some bigoted American voting for the fattest cat to run our country even further into the ground. In the back of my head, I could hear the words of Thoreau ringing loud and proud:

“He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as the only available one, thus proving that he is himself available for any purpose of the demagogue. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought.”

If my only option was to choose the best of the worst, then I wouldn’t pick anyone at all.

But then I realized that I had it all backwards. What right have I to stand on a soapbox and rain down fire on the ideals of America if I do not partake in the single action that upholds what we, as Americans, stand for?

Our political system may be flawed, but it is all we have. Until someone on Capitol Hill wakes up and realizes that things have changed over the past 200 years since the original voting ideas were formed, and that new ideas must take hold, silently boycotting the game won’t win you anything.

So many have fought for the opportunity to be heard when once they were silenced. If you care enough to not care, realize that your one-man army isn’t getting you anywhere. After the election, which will happen whether or not you participate, don’t quote Thoreau at me and tell me that you’re above anything — all you’re above is the grave you dug for yourself.