Why voting matters in the mid-terms: an open letter

Erick Mendez

Staff Writer

 

Dear Young, Old and people somewhere in between,

Voting matters. There are at least 100 different ways I could explain this. Short of one-hundred,

I’ll provide you with as many reasons I can list. Political divide among friends, coworkers and lovers is at an all-time high. A reality television host also who has starred in film, wrestling, airlines, casinos, universities has managed to bend an entire political party to his will despite being a novice to the United States presidency.

A major rival political party is in constant chaos and shambles over an unclear vision of how to proceed into the future. Some want change within the system, others want to retain power and personal gain.

All in all, political parties’ lost dominance to an outsider who was overconfidently ridiculed in the public regarding his chances of winning.

The people who never took his chances of victory seriously, which includes the media, celebrities, politicians and voters may use this as an opportunity to rectify this colossal error in judgement. We all share the blame for the rise of this successful candidate.

I personally regret giving the time of day to Donald Trump. I talked about him on my own time and eventually fell into the same trap that everyone else did.

Throughout the last decade, and even before recent years’, nonviolent drug users have been made into felons simply for possessing marijuana.

Teachers and students in schools have been shot in acts of gun violence.

People of color such as myself have had the police called on for minding our own business and trying to go about our day.

Workers have been paid questionable wages while the cost of living and survival continue to rise.

Student loan debt continues to skyrocket.

Net Neutrality is under constant threat of deregulation.

Children of immigrant parents are being separated from their families.

People who have served in the military are unable to seek proper mental health treatment which has in turn led to actions of suicide or mass violence.

The species living in our oceans are dying in the thousands thanks to pollution from us.

The human race being what it is, consistently falls short on equality when white individuals with learning disabilities are fired upon by police.

People who celebrate the Muslim faith, and members of the LGBTQ community are actively oppressed for being different.

Voting isn’t just about one president or governor. Think of Senate and House candidates.

Think of School Board members in Broward County. Focus on circuit and county court Judges. Ponder your potential city commissioner or mayor.

Recollect how the political process works against you instead of being a system that should conform to your needs. Channel your passion for change when learning about amendments to your state constitution. I won’t just vote, I will hold a politician’s feet to the fire.

Before I wrote for the Broward College paper, I was just a guy with good but untested ideas. Here I am, proud of the work I’ve done. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Cameron Kasky, one of the founders of the March for Our Lives movement. I briefly met Parkland activist David Hogg during a town hall meeting on gun violence in South Florida.

I’ve even met residents of Parkland who are strongly Republican. I was happy to hear their input on what should be rightfully perceived as a failing system.

The media makes a mistake believing that voting blue regardless of who or focusing on scandals can turn an election.

Focusing on the issues is what matters most. Go meet candidates. Have a conversation. Ask them straight questions. Do not take things easy on them. New candidates, and incumbents are there to serve you. Review your first and subsequent impressions of what they can do for you.

Now go out and vote on Nov. 6.

mende12@mail.broward.edu

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