Voting: a personal and public commitment to be informed

Posted 10/27/22

If you talk to almost anyone right now, you will find them concerned about the future. 

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Voting: a personal and public commitment to be informed


If you talk to almost anyone right now, you will find them concerned about the future. 

There is climate change. There is authoritarianism on the rise globally. There are rising prices at home and financial turmoil in Britain. There’s a war in Ukraine and tremendous demographic change coming to our communities.

The difference between us, it seems to me, is where we place the blame. Or where we look for change and solutions.

And that brings us to voting. 

The opportunity to vote for a candidate is where we can put our hopes for change in motion. How we pull the lever on election day, November 8, will determine, in both big and small ways, our future.

Change and destiny lie in the act of voting. 

While simple, it’s tough. With all of the division, it’s hard to know what information is actually accurate, and what information is simply misinformation strategically opined for a specific outcome.

What’s a voter to do?

For starters, know the issues. In New York, for example, what does the Environmental Bond Act actually do? Do you know? Does voting for or against the bond act help or hurt our environmental future? Do you think the action proposed by the bond would do anything to curb climate change? Do you think that you have to choose between the environment and the economy? Are you voting for your own self-interest, your fear or in the interest of the next generation? Are you voting through an ideological lens or one that is informed? 

Does the bond address the problem at hand? Have you taken the time to find out?

Which brings us to the crux of this whole voting thing. It is our responsibility as a voter to understand the issues and to use our vote accordingly to weigh in on the solutions. It isn’t enough to simply vote the traditional party lines, as traditional party lines have become obliterated with vitriol and self-interest.

Here are a couple of suggestions on how to traverse this strange political landscape.

At this time of misinformation, where each person wants to blame the other, pay attention to your emotions when you read or watch a political advertisement. Are you being triggered? Is the ad invoking fear? Tune into your emotions as a barometer. And never simply vote your emotions.

Does your candidate offer solutions, or are they just pointing to the other and telling you that they are causing the problem? Will this person come up with solutions, or will that official simply continue to blame the other? There’s no real change if this is a blame game. Tune into your intellect. What is it telling you?

Avoid short-term solutions. Ask yourself whether even if you may be better off in the near future, what does the far future look like?

The most important thing is that you understand that we are in unprecedented times, and for that we need to consider who is the right candidate, and examine their messaging. Consider whether their messaging is fear-based or solutions-based. And ask yourself, do you believe them? Are they deserving of your vote and your confidence that they are actually going to improve the situation and help solve the challenging situations that we face?

Beyond educating ourselves, the most important thing is that we must all vote. It’s what we do as Americans. It’s democracy.

There is great change in the air. We all need to participate and protect this democratic institution of voting.

In short, be informed. Use your intellect. And vote for the person that you think will bring the change that you desire. Not just for today, but for the future, for all of us.

future, voting, politics, midterms


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