By Melody Lima
You don’t have to have fought in a war to love peace.
~Geraldine Ferraro, 1984
It was 1984, and I was unpacking boxes in my first apartment in Philadelphia, Pa.
I jumped at the opportunity to move into this small studio apartment and not return home after my first year of college. I chose not to invite any of my friends to be my roommate.
I was 19 years old.
In the pile of boxes, it occurred to me I could vote in my first Presidential election upcoming that coming fall. What an honor.
As a young independent woman learning my way in the world, gleeful in my first apartment, I was able to vote. I could vote, register to vote, choose to vote and for the next few months, think about who to cast my vote for on my ballot. Not for me—for all those women who came before me who fought for me to vote.
It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people—women as well as men.
~Susan B. Anthony, speech after her arrest for voting in the 1872 presidential election
I have voted in every election since that first year in Philly.
I voted in New York City and several counties in New Jersey. I woke up early before work rushing to the polls and after an evening commute to be counted before the polls closed. I trudged through rain and skipped under the sun’s rays to cast my vote.
I pushed my daughter behind the curtain in a stroller and let her push The Button when she began to read.
This week when the Democratic Nominee for the President of the U.S. was clinched, it became clear that we, the voters, will have two choices at the polls in November (at this time, it is unclear if an Independent party choice will be available). I woke up feeling like I didn’t want to vote.
I am not clear why not voting is even a consideration for me. Frustration, confusion and anxiety fills my thought process, not honor, respect or even duty.
I understand why some folks support a candidate that is opposite our current President.
I understand why some folks support a candidate who will make history.
I understand why some folks support a candidate who gives voters a third choice.
I do not understand why folks support a candidate who disrespects everybody.
I do not understand why folks support a candidate who is overwhelmingly corrupt and somehow gets away with it.
I do not understand why folks support a candidate who wishes to give everything, to everybody—for free.
We still do not know for sure whose name will be on the ballot this fall. We do know, the write-in option is still available.
Will you vote this year?
Editor: Dana Gornall