As many of the people reading this know, the 2020 Presidential Elections are less than one day away. As the weight of this election has been almost at a breaking point for both of the sides, there is the silver lining of November 3rd to keep each side fighting. The rising action of the upcoming election has been the tension that has been unparalleled by any election in years past, and as the whole world is watching to see what will come of America on November 3rd it almost seems as if it is a movie, a spectacle to be watched both in horror and awe at how far America has strayed from its roots. As a junior studying American History currently, I can almost affirm how disgusting this election is compared to previous ones. The American people conducted themselves with pride and did not engage in gross amounts of nationalism that extends to the feeling of hatred. America has cracked under the pressure of this election, and either way, this election turns, there will be turmoil, but what can we do to ensure come Wednesday, that the goals of climate action, universal healthcare, and structural reform are still met in whichever administration is in office.
Pay attention to the down ballots
My hero, Dr. Ayana Johnson spoke of the importance of paying attention to down ballots during the Rally for a Livable Future on Thursday night. To inspire local change in your communities, hospitals, schools, parks, and roads, you must pay attention to who is running for local office and what each candidate stands for. Speak to them. Be active in the elections. This is where the difference is made and where you can weld the most power. You can influence them with your vote, and with the support of many in your community, you can demand change locally. Go to the townhalls and gather information on each candidate because they are the people that will listen to the exact words coming out of your mouth and they will change to get re-elected, so be active, stay alert. You can be the change that your community and this nation need.
Advocate for Justice
Whether our President is Trump, Biden, or some libertarian candidate, the change we currently need will still need to be forced. A call for justice, whether climate, economic, racial, or systematic justice, justice is something America is severely lacking, and the only way to get it is to demand it. The call for justice is only the beginning, it needs to be a constant and unignorable demand for the leader of America to take swift and impactful action. But hear this and hear this well: this is not a call for complete and absolute anarchy; anarchy is the last thing that America needs right now. The actions of the Black Lives Matter Movement while not inspiring the legislative change that it sought to impact, it did leave a huge social impact on all of America. Everyone had an opinion and the movement was at the front of almost every citizen's mind, hell I would argue the whole world was watching to see what America would do at this moment. And what did it do? Nothing. The killers of Breonna Taylor are free men, while she is dead. The killers of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, taken far too young, are living unincarcerated. Black men cannot go outside to visit their local grocery store or go for a run without fearing death. And what has changed? Nothing. Now you see, the key to unlocking success is a movement that will not cease to fight until there have been actions of justice. So come Wednesday, November 3rd, the fight is on. The battle begins. Remember, whatever it is that your fight is, keep on fighting, keep on advocating, keep on calling for that change that we need. I thank you in advance for keeping the spirit of a concerned civilian alive.
Spread your Message
This almost goes hand in hand with advocating for a change, but I would argue that it is slightly more important. I am sure you are aware of the phrase: " There is power in numbers" and that is 100% absolutely true. Spread your purpose wherever you may find an audience that can hear it. The more people that hear it the better. Send access links to them, give them resources to learn more about your cause, lead them to the knowledge they need to fight the good fight. A lot of the recent disagreements and controversies stem from ignorance, a lack of knowledge of opposing opinions, so by providing resources and information for people to conduct their own studies, you are giving them a path to enlightenment and understanding. Of course, there will be opposing resources, facts, and opinions because, in the era of the internet, there is a wealth of knowledge at the fingertips of the majority of the population, but the main point is to share your knowledge to create tolerance of opposing ideas. Spead your message, receive other messages, be kind. No matter what the results of this election end up being, America will need to unite. America is currently divided, democrat vs republican, black vs. white, gay vs. straight, when in reality we are all just human and we all bleed red. So, hear a brother or sister out, they might have experienced something you, yourself, are blind to.
Now this one is specific to the weeks following November 3rd. The mail-in ballots will have yet to be counted. We will not know who has won the election that night, but I am sure people will try to declare a winner. This is a message to all people watching the polls Tuesday night: "Be patient. This year has been a record voter turnout. It is tense, unnerving, and probably one of the many unprecedented moments of 2020, but wait." Tuesday night is going to be the night to define the lives of many Americans, including me, and while a clean answer by Wednesday morning would be the most convenient circumstance, life had other plans. We must be okay with that, we must be okay with not knowing. Otherwise, you will drive yourself up a wall for no imaginable reason. Nobody knows. Trump doesn't know. Biden doesn't know. All we can do is be patient and wait.
I want to wish you a stress-free and calm election day, and if you are registered to vote and haven't then go vote. If you are in a state where same-day registration applies, go register and vote, and if you have a drop off the ballot, go drop it off. Here are some links with more voting information!
Also before I finish this post I had something that has been resting on my mind, but I don't think it is enough for its own post. I want to call upon the youth to make their voice heard, especially those of you who cannot vote. You are not able to contribute to your civil duty by casting a ballot, so please make an impact on the world in some other way. I want to call on you to use your gifts and talents for good and for benefitting your society.
On that note, I also want to empower your voice. In the past week, I have had many people try and strip away my voice, and while I can appear shy about my ideas at first, I will never let anyone take my voice away. I have a right to have opinions. I have a right to share my opinions. And if that threatens you or makes you feel so uncomfortable, as to damage my property, call me names, or threaten me, then I am so sorry, you will have to remain uncomfortable. Let me pass this to you, speak your mind, it is sharper than most people will care to give you credit for, and when people make threats and try to shut you up, then you will know you have a message worth sharing.