Throughout 2021, I’ve made every effort to remain healthy and safe while attempting some level of normalcy and happiness. I’ve been vaccinated twice and received my booster and I’m still wearing a mask when interacting with those not in my household. I breathed a sigh of relief in November 2020 when the former White House resident lost his re-election bid for another term and a man with both governing experience and a more pleasant and reasonable temperament was elected. And I have to admit, I took that opportunity to not watch as much news and political programming as I had during the preceding four years.
I’m back to watching a few political shows and I’ve noticed much of the talk is about the debt ceiling, “Build Back Better,” and still COVID-19 and its various variants. While those things are important, the topic concerning me most at present is voting rights. Republicans have been steadily chipping away at our right to vote as American citizens. I find it ironic because the GOP is all about our rights when it comes to blocking mask mandates and mandatory vaccination in an effort to stop COVID-19. They say, “My body, my rights” but don’t honor that position when it comes to women’s right to choose, the movement that created the slogan. They seem to believe voting is only a right for certain people, while it’s a privilege granted to some and denied to others.
January 6, 2022 marks one year since the violent insurrection in which supporters of the former resident of the White House attempted to stop the peaceful transfer of power and override the people’s choice. We’re still investigating the who, when, and what of the attempted coup — and we should bring the conspirators to light and hold them accountable for their actions.
However, if Republicans take over the House and/or Senate, will these investigations continue? Will anyone face justice? Will current laws be strengthened and new ones passed to prevent this sort of thing from happening again? Therein lies a perfect example of how important our right to vote truly is. They can’t win unless they can control who and how many get the privilege of the right to vote. That’s why they’re gerrymandering districts, trying to do away with mail-in ballots, closing polling locations in certain communities, and passing laws banning offering water or chairs to those in need.
Never before has it been more important to register, then get out and vote. People line up for the latest Jordan sneakers or iPhone; many stood in line for Black Friday deals. If we can stand in line for those things, then we should be standing up to cast our votes.
Also, a reminder that voting in local and state elections greatly impacts our everyday lives. Local politicians are often propelled into state and national offices, so let’s make sound decisions regarding local positions. Your voice counts. Your vote counts. Use them both in 2022.