Posted Sep 4 2018, 9:43 pm in , , , , ,

One of my favorite movies is The American President with Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepard. At the end of this movie, he makes this amazing speech in which he calls America “advanced citizenship.” I love this. Advanced citizenship. You have to want it bad. You have to be willing to back up pretty words with some hard actions — like defend someone’s right to freedom of speech even when their message goes against everything you personally believe in. 

Check it out on youtube

“Advanced citizenship.” Maybe people don’t really want to have advanced citizenship. Maybe they just want to be led around like puppets by their strings. Maybe that’s why less than half of those eligible to vote actually did so in the 2016 election. Experts claim 47 or 48% of Americans registered to vote actually did so. 

More people vote in reality TV show competitions than they did for president. 

That’s a sad and frankly, horrifying, statistic. Despite having won 3 million more popular votes, Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college and thus, the presidency. 

Why? Why is almost half our citizenry disengaged from the process? 

What can we do to drive those numbers up? How can we make sure those running for government posts are qualified to hold them? How can we make the campaign process less expensive so that those who aren’t born to into wealth can run on their merits? How can we diminish the power that the wealthiest 1% can purchase with a few large donations? 

These are big and important questions that right now — have only one answer: VOTE. 

Head over to for help getting registered. If you’re away at college, you can vote by mail. 

If you follow me online, you already know what my politics are — I’m not shy about sharing my opinions. And you shouldn’t be either! But if you don’t have any opinions, that’s when it’s time to worry. If you’re 18, congratulations! In the eyes of the government, you’re an adult and that means, you’re allowed to vote now. 

Start by visiting the candidates’ websites, see what they’re about. Then, check their records because what they say isn’t always supported by evidence. Check MULTIPLE news sources because guess what? All of them are owned by people who are themselves members of one party. Fox is notoriously Republican. CNN is usually Democrat. They do skew their stories but no, not all are ‘fake.’ 

Advanced citizenship means you have to do a little work. Visit lots of news sources. Draw your own conclusions. Determine which issues either directly impact you or which you care about the most. Maybe it’s health care. Maybe it’s women’s rights, if you’re like me. Maybe it’s gun control. Make a list of those issues and see what your candidates say about them and learn what they’re doing about them. 

Don’t be afraid to contact your representatives and ask them questions. I do this all the time. 

Your vote is power. Your vote is a hard-won right. Don’t waste it. 

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