By: Maddie De Pree, Staff Writer
This week, I asked a friend’s brother if he was planning to vote in the Georgia midterm elections. His response?
“Probably not. I don’t know who to vote for.”
I was not surprised. In my 20 years of life, I have only heard this particular brand of apathy on the lips of uninformed white people. Granted, I could stand to be more involved in the political workings of my state. I have not exactly been hitting the Georgia campaign trails — after all, I go to college in South Carolina — but unlike my friend’s brother, I do know who to vote for. Unlike my friend’s brother, I have read the articles, followed the news and done the research. Last week, I voted Democrat like my life depended on it — because, well, it kind of does.
Whether this guy knew it or not, his statement revealed a sad truth: I will not be affected by the outcomes of this election either way, so why bother? Upper middle class white men will probably not suffer from either outcome of the midterm elections. But other people — their friends, their sisters, their professors, their DH staff — probably will.
Over the past two years, this country has been awash in hateful rhetoric. Our president and his Republican administration have openly embraced racism, misogyny, collusion and xenophobia since the moment he entered office.
The Trump era smacks of nascent fascism; under his administration, our human rights, reproductive rights, national security and basic decency are on the line. To throw away your vote is to be complicit in this fraught administration.
The upcoming midterms may seem inconsequential to young, bored white men, but this election is crucial. The results of November’s midterm will directly impact the lives of queer people, women, immigrants, people with disabilities and people of color.
These marginalized individuals are the face of the United States. Abstaining from the vote is a luxury that they cannot afford.
Our political system is imperfect, but November’s midterm offers us an opportunity to incite real political change. This administration is a careless, dangerous strain of the Republican party. If we do not vote them out, they will unravel our democracy.
Perhaps you are “fed up with politics.” Perhaps you just don’t care. Caring, after all, implies that something is at stake. Among Furman’s affluent, white student body, the stakes are often low.
Of our student body, I ask this: consider the reality of those who do not come from a place of utmost privilege. Consider the reality of those who are fighting tooth-and-nail just to make their voices heard. These people attend Furman. These people deserve better. I voted blue to prove that.
Your disillusion is understandable.
Your complacency is not. So get up, get out and cast your ballot. You owe it to the rest of your country.
Election Day is Nov. 6, 2018. Visit https://www.vote.org/ for information on absentee ballots, voter registration and polling places.