Why I Didn’t Vote..
I didn’t vote today. Yes, I said it, I did not vote today. So shocking and so unproductive when it comes to my civil duty, right? How could I? How could I ever neglect the one thing we stand for here in America: democracy? My reason is certainly not going to go over well with everyone, nor is it going to make sense to those who find the candidates so compelling and believe in their right and duty to vote.
I was lucky to have been old enough to vote in the 2012 presidential race, it was my first vote ever in the second coming of the most historic day for African Americans in presidential history. I was honored and proud to vote. Proud to be apart of this democratic system I’ve taken so much advantage of. But since then, I’ve stood in front of and listened to many different candidates. I was in front of the President several times, in front of the Vice President and local state runners, and what have I learned: a candidate race always runs on negativity.
So I ask a question to voters and Boulder: In your everyday life, would you ever let yourself be led by someone that runs off of bashing others? What about joining a group with people who misconstrue facts and use lies of omission to shape your viewpoints? What about more generally, would you ever want to hang around someone that gets ahead in his or her life by shaming another to look better? In Boulder, I would say the majority of people would answer, “no.” Why? Because Boulder’s style is not the kind to shun others viewpoints; we don’t exclude people because they are different, we don’t lie about the overarching truths and we pride ourselves on being one of the most progressive, open, and welcoming states in the country.
Understanding this Coloradan openness and letting myself succumb to being a very open, welcoming, and truthful person, I just can’t support candidates that run their success based on who can find the worst in the other faster. Or change the truth around to make someone look bad, nor can I support the essence of the American political system, which is so confounded in sheer negativity. More so, I can’t support an unproductive and totally divided system that needs to work for everyone, not one side or the other.
I believe that democracy needs a reboot. Our candidates need to be reevaluated, also whom we believe is a leader and our definition of leadership in whole. The political race needs a society that believes in honesty, facts over lies of omission, and most importantly, a candidate that doesn’t spew hate through the TV, mailboxes, on the corner of streets and in the media. Hate is so valued in the race that in one single day I received six larger-than-normal posters, purely filled with text, images, and cut quotes bashing the other candidate. That was one day, not including the other days I got the same kind of mail. It’s a advertising game that is meant to shred your beliefs; it was nothing but hating on the other and pining issues against “what is right.” When does it stop, I ask? I can’t continue to support people’s opinions about the importance of voting, because those people’s opinions are prided in the hate of the other candidate they didn’t vote for. All in all, I can’t support hate and dishonesty. I can’t support voting for candidates who run negative campaigns.
We ask all the time why American politics are so overrun by people who can’t get the job done. I’ll tell you why: when you voted, you didn’t vote for a real leader. You didn’t vote for the person you thought could make change across the board. You didn’t vote for the person that upholds your moral and ethical values, and the values we hold people to everyday. The same good, wholesome values you try and find in people you want associate with. Wait, so what did you vote for? To me, you voted for the continuation of hate, the continuation of a bad political system, even worse leaders, and oh yeah, dishonesty. You voted for the man that better shamed the other. You voted for someone who believes that targeted scare tactics through lies of omission are the best way to get the word out about what they stand for. Since when is hate a tool to motivate in a progressive society, like Boulder’s? All in all, I believe you voted to continue these negatively driven races into the future and supported the negative ethics used to get ahead. Again, I ask, are those ethics you would teach a child? That you hold yourself to?
We won’t see change until we change the people we are supporting. Candidates that have negative ad campaigns and run around the state, or country with hate on their minds, in their ads, and in their words to win a race shouldn’t be supported. We won’t ever find the real change makers, the next JFK or Dali Lama, because we continue to support the people who believe hate is a tactic for getting ahead. We, for some odd reason, like negativity and vote for people who find value in campaigns that run on negativity. Which is why I can’t continue to support voting. We need positive, truthful, and honestly rich men and women leading us, not those who perpetuate this divide we have in American politics. United we stand, not who’s with me because that guy is totally wrong. Collaboration is innovation and to cross those party lines, we need honest people run by even more honest ethics.
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