Engage in democracy and vote

Staff Editorial

The polls open for many of our state and local midterms Nov. 6.

As we enter this election season, people all over the country are starting to feel the pressures of voter turnout. But because news media covers presidential elections extensively, there is a general tendency for people to feel disinterested in state and local elections.

In our increasingly polarized and tumultuous political climate, we are reminded that it’s more important than ever to take an active role in every aspect of our democratic system in an effort to facilitate change.

We were warned by political theorists and journalists alike during the 2016 elections that our continued disinterest in politics would lead to a major shift in the presidency.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore said disengagement is dangerous during an appearance on a July 2016 Real Time with Bill Maher episode.

“I think one of the things I’ve been concerned about this week is … that we’re sitting in our bubble having a good laugh at this shitshow, as you say, of a [Republican National Convention], but the truth is that this plays to a lot of people that he has to win to become the next president,” he said.

He, like many other theorists, predicted the effects of Trump’s divisive political campaign.

There is a sense that as this divisiveness infiltrated our government and mutilated basic moral values we took for granted.

In three weeks, we will actually have the ability to make change. All 435 seats in the House and 35 Senate seats will be contested in this year’s midterms.

Currently, the congressional majority is Republican. Democrats need to flip 24 seats to reclaim the House, according to a March 26 New York Times article.

The empowering thing about electing our representatives is that each vote truly does count.

We can’t blame our indifference on the possible flukes of an Electoral College. This is the closest we get to a genuine democracy and we ought to take advantage of that.

“Staying home is not an option. And being cynical is not an option,” President Obama said in a 2015 Miami town hall on MSNBC.

We didn’t listen for years. We trusted that our government would take care of itself.

But now we need to step up to the plate and participate.

Our generation has a duty to take political action and be active in our democratic process.

To register to vote, you can go to vote.org or look up your home state’s secretary of state. And if you are from out of state, be sure to request an absentee ballot and to mail it in by the appropriate date.

In Vermont, students can register to vote in the Vermont elections if they wish but are unable to vote in two states.

Make your voice heard this election season.

Staff editorials officially reflect the views of the Vermont Cynic. Signed opinion pieces and columns do not necessarily do so.

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