In the interest of transparency, I had no idea who YelloPain was before I began thinking about writing this op-ed. I have not heard but the one song from the Dayton, Ohio rapper, but in that track “My Vote Don’t Count,” he spits the untainted, sometimes painful, truth.
“My Vote Don’t Count” is ironic. It’s facetious. You see, Yello is actually spitting about the importance of voting. Your vote, my vote, our votes ... they do count. Yello says it best when he rhymes, “If we gonna fix the U.S., we gotta start with them two letters, me and you!”
The political process will work without your vote, but it only justly works with your vote!
While your right to vote is special, it is not so special that the process will shut down if you fail to show up and vote. In fact, the political process will roll right on without ever even giving a moment of thought to your wants and needs. If you choose to not to cast your vote, no one can make you – this isn’t kindergarten – but I am here to promise you that those politicians, the ones that you didn’t vote for, are going to be making decisions about you.
Most people who vote seem more motivated to vote during presidential years. Voting for your preferred presidential choice is important. Voting for your local offices, including Bowling Green City Commissioner is equally important.
Non-presidential contests are often referred to as “down ballot races” because the presidential contenders are at the top of the ballot and every other political office contest – federal, state and local – are listed below the POTUS race, with local being at the very bottom. This seems odd to me because in reality, those “down ballot” offices are the ones that truly impact how you go about your everyday life.
Local elections are what influence the kind of police officers you may encounter or how quickly the fire department arrives in the event of an emergency. The POTUS is important, and so are other federal and state elective offices, but your garbage only gets picked up, the pot hole in the road only gets repaired, dog parks and disc golf courses only get built because of local elective offices.
When was the last time you were pissed about a government issue and thought, “I am going to call/text somebody about this #$@&%!” Well, good luck getting ahold of the POTUS or your member of Congress.
In contrast, my personal cell phone number is 270.392.0776. You can be my “friend” on Facebook, we can follow each other on Twitter, we can even share pictures on Insta if you’d like – all of which I manage myself, no third party. If you reach out to me, your local elected official, you WILL TALK WITH ME.
Like Yello, I feel it is “mandatory” for me to motivate you to vote. Again, it is not mandatory that you do so, but I feel mandated to encourage you to do so.
2020 has been a difficult time for many, but the one thing remains clear: the importance of electing leaders at every level who put the welfare of everyday people – you – first.
This election cycle offers a variety of ways to cast your vote. Visit SlimNash.org and click on “How to Vote” to learn all the ways.
Remember Yello’s rhyme, “So every time you sit out an election, every time you don’t show up because you think it doesn’t matter, someone else is hap- py that you didn’t show up. So they can make that decision for you.”
Make your voice heard! Don’t believe what “they” tell you ... every vote matters, and so does every single race on the ballot – including Bowling Green City Commissioner.