Malik Yusef puts the importance of voting in historical context in this piece for the Huffington Post.
There was a time when just being able to vote was the main issue for this country. Now, the trouble is getting people to the booth in order to do something that others fought hard to simply achieve an active role in.
The reasons for this are complex, but it should be noted that America is one of three countries, along with Jamaica and Malta, with a two-party system (Republican vs. Democrats), which often leaves people feeling like they have no choice at all (Coke vs. Pepsi anyone?) and creates a dull and limited political landscape. In addition, civics has been taken out of our public schools, leaving many of our kids uninformed as to the political process. Once they turn 18 they are expected to be fully engaged participants, which is like asking someone to walk into a middle of a movie and know what is happening. There also seems to be a disconnect in people’s minds between voting and their every day lives. In the Trayvon Martin case, many stood up in outrage at the Stand Your Ground Law, yet I guarantee you that if you asked how many of them actually vote or participate in the political system, the number would be dismal. In short, we love complaining — but when it comes to doing something about it — as simple as voting — we will find a hundred excuses not to do it (until it is too late).
Read Malik Yusef’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.