I don’t have ground to rant about how you should “get your act together and be a real American citizen by voting!”; I’m not the greatest citizen ever spawn from the American clutches. I’m not the biggest fan of American capitalist economy, and I’m not the biggest supporter of some of the American “ideals”. So I don’t want you to hear “vote, or you’re not a real citizen” or even “vote, or you can’t complain”, because both of those reasons are lacking.
Simply put, however American it may be, I claim that the act of voting can lead to happiness.
Happiness can come from feeling significant and important; indeed, humanity is driven by a need to feel momentous. It’s hard to deny that we do strange things in the pursuit of significance.
The voting system was integrated into American democratic ideology in order for our government to help us feel like we have some part in the political system. I do genuinely believe that our Founding Fathers were not corrupt money-men who wanted to shove the American public in a dark water-closet and simultaneously shriek, “Well, peasants you voted for this!!” The founders of our government were among those who clawed from the womb of British rule, emerging in the stinking afterbirth of colonizing oppression. If that image puts you off, just imagine how passionate they probably were about the right to be free. The ability to vote was centered around the intent to allow the general public to voice their opinion and “‘ave a say in da way things ‘re dun ’round ‘ere!” –James Madison*.
*not actual quote
The fact that we choose to view our ability to vote as something that “doesn’t even matter; I live in Kansas, it’s going to be republican”, is completely missing the mark. So what if that’s probably true?! It doesn’t matter! The fact that you are acknowledging that there is power in what you have to say, that’s the real money maker! Friends, candidates are paying the big bucks for your vote. They are tossing free bumper stickers from the rooftops, firing free t-shirts through rented t-shirt guns (which you know are expensive, I know you’ve looked into one). Whether you support him or not, Bernie Sanders is doing much to emphasize bringing massive uncorrupt public funding back into the campaigns and the other candidates (for the most part…) are following suit (no wonder the hipsters like Bernie); there has been a noticable shift from appealing to only congressmen and Big Business to including the public.
You are important. You have a voice.
Wait, let me rephrase this.
You are important. You have the ability to have a voice.
So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to choose to let a chance to be significant slip through your politically-neutral clutches, you Switzerland?! Friends!
You really are significant. So go ahead and bask in your significance and cast the ballot.
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
Peace and Blessings,