An Opinion Piece on the US 2022 Midterms: Privileged to Vote

US 2022 Midterms: Privileged to Vote – Responsibility vs Entitlement

Dear reader, the author of this piece has chosen to remain anonymous, and it’s an inclination that I completely understand. I’m grateful to be living in a part of the world where relatively few people believe in conspiracy theories that threaten to undermind everything that I value, such as the rights of women, the rights of minorities, and the protection and restoriation of the natural environment.
Good luck America.
The world is watching and waiting.
My thoughts are with you,
The Editor

The US midterm elections are just around the corner and it’s time for every American to be grateful for the privilege of being able to vote.

Voting used to be limited to only white, land-owning males. Now, every citizen over the age of 18 is given the right to vote.

This isn’t something that should be taken for granted, nor is it something that should be squandered.

This is an especially important for women to remember. We’ve only had the right to vote for 100 years. And it’s become abundantly clear in the past year with Dobbs and the reversal of Roe v. Wade, we have to fight, peacefully yet forcefully, to retain the rights we’ve worked so long and hard to earn.

It’s sad to say that only 50% of the people voted in the last mid-term election, and only 66% in the 2020 presidential election. Of course, this is better than to 60% that voted in the 2016 election and the 58% in the 2012 election and 36% in the 2014 midterm election. Isn’t that sad? We have the privilege to vote and only a bit over 1/3 of the people chose to use it. I image that if that right were given to the people who live in the 20 autocracies around the world, they would choose to vote. (For US voting statistics see Voter turnout in U.S. presidential and midterm elections 1789-2020 | Statista)

I’ve said that voting is a privilege, and I’m truly thankful that I live in a country where I do have the right to vote. I’ve exercised that right every opportunity since I’ve been 18. I will admit that I don’t vote in every category. If I don’t know who the candidates are for, let’s say, school board members or judges, and there isn’t information readily available, I will skip those.

I’m afraid of electing someone who doesn’t represent the things I believe in so I’d rather let people who know make that choice for me.

Self-Education Ahead of the 2022 Midterms

Along with privilege comes responsibility.

I’ll admit that it’s my responsibility to learn about candidates. It’s my responsibility to vote, even when it isn’t convenient. If I don’t accept the responsibility, I may lose the privilege and certainly don’t have the right to complain about who wins an election. The last few years have made that clear.

If I don’t like what the government, a candidate, or an elected official is doing, then I have a choice. No, it’s not to get violent or hateful! It’s to use my vote for a candidate that will work to protect my rights that my forefathers, and foremothers, fought for. I have the choice and responsibility to work for candidates that I believe in and support them. If I don’t like any candidates, then I can choose to run myself.

The operative word there is work! I’m not entitled to get everything I want. That’s the ideology of a spoiled child. It’s also, unfortunately, the ideology of some recent elected officials.

No single person is entitled to any more than every other person. We’ve become a nation that believes instant overabundance is a right. It isn’t! Overabundance, except for kindness, gratitude, and love, isn’t good for anyone or the planet. This is why the sustainability and minimalist movement have been growing.

Yet there’s a growing number of people who are on the opposite side of this movement.

They are the private jet hopping, instant fame seeking, celebrity cult craving people who want instant fame, instant fortune, and instant and total adoration. We all know who these people are because we can’t avoid their faces being everywhere. But take a good look at what they’ve accomplished for humanity. What do they offer us?

Naming names…does Donald Trump actually care about you? While he’s flying around in his gas guzzling jet from his luxury golf course to his luxury golf course, does he really care that you are struggling to put food on your table and keep a roof over your head? He wants your money, which you’ve actually worked for, and he want your adoration and loyalty.

But does he deserve this? Think about the people around him and those he’s endorsed. They are they the childhood playground bullies who pushed you down and stole your lunch money. Only now, they’re grown and trying to steal our rights – our right to vote, our right to a lawful and peaceful democracy, our way of life.

We can’t let them steal what is rightfully ours!

Not only do we need to stay alert to the insipid dangers that can creep into our rights to free speech, a free press (within the bounds of honesty and non-hateful and incendiary speech), freedom of religion, and our right to privacy.

By using our right to vote we can ensure these rights and bring back decency, courtesy, and kindness. Going back to the school analogy, it can’t hurt to remember the golden rule of doing unto others…. I’m choosing to be kind, keep an open mind, support candidates who are working for me (and not their wealthy cohorts), and above all, going out and voting!

An Opinion Piece on the US 2022 Midterms: Privileged to Vote