I had a lot of time to reflect this morning during my chemotherapy about a conversation I had with my nephew last week. He just turned 18 and I thought he might be excited to vote. The conversation went like this:
Me: “Are you all registered to vote?”
Nephew: “No. I don’t plan on voting,”
Me: “Why not, I thought you would be excited to vote?”
Nephew: “I just don’t care. I don’t have any interest in learning about the issues or politics.”
A stunned silence followed for a minutes and then the subject was changed, but it has been on my mind ever since.
Eight days after I graduated High School I was on the other side of the country starting boot camp. I believed in America and what it stood for. I was ready to die to keep my family and country safe. I was ready to bleed for that right.
Times have changed. This is not the America that I fought to protect. We are called the United States of America, but we are more divided than ever. We have a man in power who has declared war on trans people. If he is allowed to do this, then other groups are sure to follow. I didn’t fight for this country to have it perverted into fascism.
I am a proud parent of a gay daughter. I am looking forward to meeting her partner on Facetime over the holidays. They have a right to be happy. After all we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let me say that a little louder, so the people in back can hear: We ALL have a RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. No where in this sentence does it say “except trans people, gays, of others in the LBGTQ community. I will ALWAYS defend my daughters right, and any other person’s regardless or race creed or sex, to live.
The fact that some of our youth don’t care about the policies that are being made, policies that will effect their lives, in mot now, in the future. We have to have a conversation with our children and make them aware of what is going on and how that can affect them. The main way we go about this is to vote. Our voices can be heard and things will only change if everyone goes to the polls.
No matter how you feel about the military, the men and women who volunteer to put their lives on the line and preserve our safety are due respect. The military isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine, but they are our first and best line of defense against enemies both foreign AND domestic.
I urge you to got the polls on Tuesday. Let your voice be heard! Your vote does matter, and as Americans it is our civic duty to exercise the right to vote. IF our youth does not care, and if everyone has the attitude of “it doesn’t mater” then nothing will change. And when your at the polls think beyond party lines. The party system has failed us. It is time to vote for right versus wrong. It is time to vote for Life, Liberty, and Everyone’s Pursuit of Happiness.