I wrote yesterday about not reading these last few days and instead following the presidential results as they come in from several states. As of this morning it looks like we’re on the verge of a winner.
This got me thinking. I haven’t been reading to watch the results trickle in. But I’ve also been playing Call of Duty Warzone, maybe you know it. I’ve been dividing my attention between these three things. Work is work, so it doesn’t really count.
Not only now in the midst of a pandemic, but even in a more normal time, what activities/hobbies do you find yourself juggling against one another?
I’ve been writing about my dash to the end of the year and reaching my reading goal, and then election day happened. 😳
It’s been impossible not to stare at the results in the handful of states still counting and undecided. I check throughout the day and then keep checking after the end of my shift. So now we’re 5 days into the month and I’ve barely opened a book. Welp.
2020 is the first time so many different organizations from different aspects of American life have gotten together and made a concerted effort to encourage people to vote. Many would argue it’s because of the current President. The US has continually had very low voter participation the last few decades. Some states and towns are more active than others, of course, but as a whole tens of millions simply do not exercise their right to vote.
There are a litany of reasons for this I won’t go into. It’s gotten to the point that simply encouraging citizens to participate in the election of their officials is an exercise in partisanship. I could volunteer for a nonprofit that helps people get registered to vote (and doesn’t tell them who they should vote for) and somehow it’s a statement against this person or that one.
In Harris County, TX there are nearly 5 million people. I was looking into a candidate recently before going to the polls and I checked up on their electoral history. They’d won a previous race with 16k votes. There are more than 2 million registered voters in the county. Those 16k people hardly would be considered representative of the 2 million voters or 5 million residents, but they voted and wielded great power.
We could go town to town and see similar situations play out every election year. It’s none of my business who you vote for or why. Maybe you’ve already mailed in your ballot or you’re making a plan to go in person, the how is up to you. Democracy doesn’t work when everyone stays home.
In the midst of a pandemic it’s understandable that many are still hesitant to go out in public unnecessarily. I’m 28 and for seven months I’ve stayed home as much as possible. In Texas I’m not given the ability to vote by mail. So I’ll be voting early, right around the time this goes live.
If you’re in the US make a plan to vote. Know the hours of your voting location or mail in your ballot as soon as you can. There are countless nonpartisan websites that will help you get to know local candidates if they’re unknown to you.
Today is January 20. Inauguration Day. I’ve watched the Swearing in Ceremony because I recognize that so many people around the world don’t know what this feels like. They don’t know what it’s like to elect their leaders or to witness a peaceful transfer of power between individuals.
But I won’t spend the day glued to the TV watching all of the festivities. I think my time would be better spent reading. So that’s what I’ll do.
Starting in 2020 I plan on visiting DC during every Inauguration for the rest of my life. My hope is to witness a Latino sworn in as President. That may or may not happen, but I’m confident this country will always continue moving forward. Even if it may not always appear so. 🇺🇸