Time is Running Out, But Our Votes Matter

See below a piece written by my friend, Hannah Borowsky.

Time is Running Out, But Our Votes Matter

By Hannah Borowsky
It is November 5th, one day before the election, and I haven’t done a thing to help secure the future of our country.

E-mails from the Harvard Democrats have been flooding my inbox for two months now. Messages from the Obama campaign are piling in, too. Michelle Obama tries to grab my attention with personalized subject lines like “Hannah, can you help out?” Just this weekend the messages from President Obama himself got serious with subject lines like, “this is the last time I’ll ask you this” and “time is running out.”

And even though I know just how important it is that Obama wins the election this Tuesday, I haven’t moved a muscle. “I’m really very busy,” “Politics are all talk,” “I can’t really help anyways” – these are all things I’ve told myself as I move e-mail after e-mail into my trash bin.

But now as time really is running out, and as it becomes clear that the election returns this Tuesday night are going to be tight, I can’t help but reflect on just how important Tuesday’s results are. This election matters for the sake of the health of millions of Americans who are counting on Obama-care. It matters to insure the wellbeing of over one million young immigrants who have their fingers crossed that they might receive protection from deportation. It matters to protect civil liberties and equality in America including same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to her own body. It matters if we want our tax dollars to be spent fixing broken schools rather than building tanks and bombs. It matters if we think helping rich people get richer is not the role of the government and we know that “trickle down” economies just don’t work. And it matters if we care even a little bit about the prospects of continued life on planet earth in the face of climate change, the most urgent issue of our time.

It doesn’t matter how many trips up to New Hampshire you’ve made, rallies you’ve been to, or numbers you’ve dialed. In the next few days every one of us can do two important things. First, we need to cast a vote ourselves, and secondly we must talk to as many people as we possibly can – roommates, classmates, tutors, TFs, dining hall workers, security guards, parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and especially friends in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, swing states where a vote for Obama can make or break the election.

We have to tell them that this Tuesday we all have a chance to do the most important thing a citizen of this country can do – vote. And in that voting booth we get to choose where we want to be living for the next four years… A country run by a man who callously said that people on welfare should “take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” whose plan to address gender inequality involves “binders full of women,” and who cares so little about climate change he actually plans to undo acts to improve air quality and auto efficiency…. or will it be a country moving forward, led by a man who repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” ended the war in Iraq, appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court, and passed a Health Care Reform bill that will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people for the exact reason they are seeking care – because they are sick.

And if anyone says to you that one vote doesn’t matter. Tell them they are wrong. Tell them that in 2000 the election came down to 537 votes. Tell them that 537 votes might have prevented two wars and the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Tell them that it matters.

I should have knocked on doors, made phone calls, or at least written a letter to my republican uncle. With all that’s at stake, I wish I had done more. If you’re like me, and you wish you’d had this epiphany a month ago, it’s okay; our country needs us now.


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