The general election approaches with impending speed, which means so does the onslaught of voter registration reminders, proposition advertisements, emails, actual mail, and — as I’m sure you’d also attest to — much, much more. Facebook now alerts you and your friends of upcoming elections. An advertising agency called Nail Communications released a viral video called “Dear Young People, Don’t Vote” in an attempt to use reverse psychology to increase millennial voter registration. Our own university campus has hosted a voter registration table near the Commons for weeks. The need for young voters has been vocalized in more ways than can be counted on one hand.
To those who still choose not to vote — in all likelihood, we have heard the same reasons for and against voting that you have, and we have also been swayed back and forth between hopelessness and hope.
There may even be merit to your disillusionment to the political process, your sense that it doesn’t do anything, the knowledge that tuning out and staying home is simply easier, or whatever reason you’ave else acquired.
We won’t throw that, “Some people don’t have that luxury,” line your way. As we said, you’ve heard the typical pitches for voting already, and there may be no use repeating them if they haven’t already worked. But we will mention this:
Miguel De La Torre came to the University of Redlands to speak last April on activism, God, neoliberalism, and the hopelessness of our political climate — things not so foreign to the American consciousness. He left us with a thought that we needed at the time perhaps more than we knew.
“Do you fight for justice because you believe you’re going to win?” he had asked.
“No. You fight for justice because it’s justice.”
There is a chance in any good thing we do that it leaves no impact. For all we know as journalists, our words could be forever be launched into the internet void never to be read or seen by anyone but our editors and own staff.
We do good things not because they are required, asked of us, or come with the promise of a positive outcome, but because they are good things. Voting registration paperwork is not pretty, the electoral process is not at all perfect, and the sense that you are but one voice in a crowd of millions is real and extremely daunting.
We believe it’s worth doing the good thing anyway. On November 6th, we’ll be headed to the polls to vote (or our absentee ballots will be carried to our home county’s election office). We hope you will be too.
Photo contributed by Redlands Bulldog photographer Miracle Cariaga.