Voting for a Voice

Posted on: October 10th, 2016 by kcozart

by Maddy Baldwin

As the media clearly and aggressively shows, we are fastly approaching the Presidential Election. Sadly, this has started to fade into the backs of students and people’s minds. This is understandable, in the sense that if you get yelled at long enough you start to tune it out, and this election has brought on an obscene amount of yelling. Due to the screaming matches of the candidates, people have become worn out and started to question if they should even vote.  I understand, I am tired of being yelled at too, but you don’t have to return the yelling to have a voice. Voting is your voice.

Though this election has obtained the largest investment and interest of the younger generation, my generation, it has also scared off many people from voting. A lot of us do not like either path we are looking at, and are timid to select a name when November rolls around. I am one of those people faced with the anxiety of having to make that decision in the upcoming election. I have also reached the highs of constantly having four different news channels on to try to discover the truth. Then the lows of hiding from my phone, having the “ I am moving to Canada” thought,  having the urge to scream, and I have asked “why” more than I thought possible. Then I remember this simple truth, we are the United States of America, not because of who our president is, but because we the people have the freedom to choose our president. We the people have a voice.

So if you are thinking, “I am not going to vote”, please rethink that decision. Don’t go to vote because you dad and mom are yelling at you to. Don’t go to vote because CNN or Fox is telling you to. Don’t go to vote because I am telling you to. Go to vote for the people  in so many other countries that do not have the freedom to vote! Vote for the women and African Americans who fought with their lives to get the freedom to vote! Vote because you have a voice! Voting is one of the grandest examples of our freedom. If you can’t vote for someone, vote against them. More importantly, educate yourself enough to know what individual you lean towards and the people who support them. Above all else, go vote, because your voice matters!

I often have this dream where I am standing on a glass walk way in between two cliffs. Paralyzed unable to walk to either side. This dream has become a terrifying reality to me during this Presidential Election.  I stand in the middle of a two party race, both candidates being the extreme representation of both parties. Both candidates causing my body to cringe or recoil a little at the thought of selecting their names.  Yet, I will not let a freedom so many have fought for lie wasted. I will vote. But for who? At what cost?

From now until November I have to seriously dive deep into the obtainable truth of who each candidate really is and to which cliff I believe is solid ground. I like most people during this election are actually torn between heart and head, and stand with my heels dug in the ground on refusing to just vote for who I am told is right. So through this blog and through research of my own I am going to spend the remaining time leading up to the election trying to make what seems like an impossible decision on who to vote for. I ask that you come with me on this journey. I ask that you read this blog as self exploration and not persuasion. I am not here to persuade you one way, I am here just to struggle publically so that we as future voters can hopefully come to a decision that allows us to sleep at night come November. And in the spirit of full disclosure I think yall should know that my heart is very liberal but my head is very conservative.  So I am actually equally torn between both parties, and for me neither of these candidates are making this election easier on me. So here I, hopefully we, go. Let’s find out who these two people are that are screaming for our vote.

About Maddy:

maddyMaddy Baldwin is a Junior Psychology major, from Gainesville, Georgia, and is minoring in Gender Studies. She is the Vice President of FEMISS, a chapter of the Feminist Majority here on the Ole Miss campus.  She also writes poetry and opinion pieces.