That’s really the point of this post, and if you’ve already voted or have already made plans to vote, I guess this will be a quick read.
However, I know that most people reading this blog (or at least most people at The Porch) are in their 20s or early 30s. And I know that the majority of people in that age group don’t vote in your average election. For a so-called midterm election, like this one, more than 75% of people age 18-29 don’t vote (according to the Washington Post). Most likely, 3 out of 4 people at The Porch aren’t planning to vote in this election.
And that is scary, because so much rides on this and every election. We need people to vote who are wise, informed by God’s Word, and who value freedom.
The Land of the Free
That’s what America is known as, or has been called in the past.
But what makes it free?
It’s not that we’re free to do absolutely anything and everything, because there are laws against some things—laws set up by people in the government.
You could say it’s free because the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights, spells out our most important freedoms. However, those freedoms are subject to interpretation by the courts, and only apply in the way that human judges say they should. And when even the definition of words like “person,” “life,” and “speech” is considered up for debate, it becomes surprisingly easy to lose those freedoms.
When you get down to it, what really makes it a “free” country is that we are free to choose who will rule over it. We have the power to decide who will set, interpret, and enforce the laws of the land.
And that’s why voting is so important. It’s the one true freedom we have.
Every Election Matters
In recent years, almost twice as many young adults have voted in Presidential elections as in mid-term elections. That’s still generally under 50% who vote when the Oval Office is up for grabs, which is sad, but it’s better than the 25% or fewer who vote in elections like this one.
So in case you don’t know: there are a lot of positions and policies on the ballot, even in non-Presidential years. And they are things that matter.
Do you care about how our laws and rights are interpreted by the courts? Well, guess who’s on the ballot: lots of judges, plus the District Attorney and Attorney General.
U.S. Senators and Congressmen are also up for a vote, and last I checked, they collectively have just as much power as the President. They also approve federal judges, which gives you an indirect vote on the Supreme Court.
The state has its own set of laws, and our top statewide offices are also on the ballot this Tuesday. And in case you think that local laws and local politicians aren’t that big a deal, recent events in Houston should serve as a reminder that you need a voice in all levels of government.
Every Vote Counts
Here’s the thing about people not voting: it means that a small number of people can decide the course for everyone.
You don’t have to look too hard for examples. Last mid-term, one local state representative won by 202 votes. Less than one-tenth of the people at The Porch on Tuesday—like one person from every row—would have been enough to change that outcome, if they wanted. Many elections were decided by fewer than the number of people who regularly read this blog.
So, again: go vote. The first Tuesday in November, which at the time of this publishing happens to be tomorrow. Of course, first make sure who or what you want to vote for; you can find online guides that rate candidates on important issues (like this one for Texas).
And if it seems like the choice is between the lesser of two evils? Then yes, vote for the lesser of two evils. (You don’t want to be stuck with the worse evil, do you?) And then, next time, get involved earlier in the process and work to make sure you have a good option on the ballot.
(With help from Kevin McConaghy)