I have been registered to vote since I was 18. Our civics teacher, I’m not even sure what the name of the class actually was but it was a popular one for the seniors, handed out voter registration forms to class. Prior to that, we took a quiz about our political ideals to see where we fell in the grand scheme of Republicans and Democrats. I, not surprisingly, fell someplace in the middle of the void though it seemed I leaned more left due to my stance on “social issues”. That obviously meant I had to register as a Democrat as a young almost 18 year old. He handed out the registration papers to the class to take the knowledge that we had just learned from that ideology quiz to register to vote. If you weren’t 18 yet, the registration would kick in on your birthday. It did. Maybe a week after I turned 18, I got my card in the mail to confirm that I was now a registered voter. I’m pretty sure I said “cool”, then threw it away. I didn’t vote in that first election, or the first several after that.
For a long while, I didn’t understand the need to vote. My 1 vote didn’t matter. In Massachusetts, even if I wanted to vote for a Republican candidate, my vote ultimately wouldn’t have mattered. The state 9/10 times goes Democrat anyways. My voice wasn’t there to be heard. My first election I even bothered with was when Obama was first running for president. There wasn’t anything too significant about it, but I felt pressured by everyone to go to the voting booth. It would be an experience at least, so I did it. I nervously entered into the booth and was clueless as to what was going on. I didn’t know much about Obama, but I knew that there was something about Sarah Palin that I didn’t like and that I thought McCain was up there in age, so I didn’t want her as president. But I didn’t know anything about Obama either. Biden seemed like a cool dude, and I decided to go with that. So I did.
It wasn’t until after that first election that I decided to actually care about voting. Things mattered more. I knew my ideals. I quickly learned that no one else in politics does, only voting where the money tells them too or who whatever news channel they watch tells them to vote. It
was still is pretty disgusting to me. I decided from then on that I would only vote my conscience, because I wanted to be okay with myself and my choices. I vote across party lines, voting for the person I honestly could back. I wanted to believe my defense of voting for a politician, not stuttering over talking points someone told me to say. Soon, I realized that I didn’t want to back a political party. I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. I thought they were both shady criminals that had no business representing our country. Turns out, I was probably right on both fronts even if no one wants to take their blinders off to see that.
I don’t want to support a party that sweeps things like violence against women under the rug. I don’t want to support any party that tells me if someone is one way, I should hate them (spoiler: I’m referring to both of them). I don’t want to support a party that believes guns have more rights than people do. I don’t want to support a party that is more concerned with celebrity star power than it is about doing the right thing. I don’t want to support A party.
I’m completely against the 2 party system, which has only caused harm to this country. Today, on National Register to Vote day, I’m changing my current affiliation to Independent. I’m not the Democratic party of today. I’m not the Republican party of today. These 2 parties just want power, not change. They want to tell us what to do with our lives, based on their own ideals not ours. They are life-long politicians who are more concerned with lining their pockets than being concerned with the people who voted for them. The only way that this will change is if WE change it. I choose to be the Independent party of tomorrow, which is exactly what this country needs. They need more people to stand up, not more to follow them blindly as they take us to a place I have no desire in going.