Your Vote, Your Voice, Your Choice to Change the Course!

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice revealed once again a political class that is in a mission to disrupt the political systems and its democratic process like we have never seen before! Voices of the people who elected these partisan leaders-from President, Senators, to Congressmen, and others, have been ignored, and at times been threatened so that they retreat and reside in silence. That my friends are not what the nation’s founders envisioned of the America we live today.

In 1776, the United States declared independence because people then had a strong desire to vote-they wanted to have a say in the laws, they tried to have government representatives that will represent them because they were under the British rule. Also, we know they went to war and fought to defeat the British and formed their new government so that they could vote for their leaders. Don’t you now want the government of the people, by the people and for the people? Don’t you now want the leaders you voted for, to represent you and your ideas and values? Don’t you want the leaders who will work for all people, not for themselves or the few?

Today’s political atmosphere of the nation reminds us of those old days, and something else-that democracy is free and secure when you relentlessly protect it.

In 1778, the nation’s founders wrote the constitution which is the law of the land. The Constitution stated that the United States was a democracy- a government that will be governed by and for the people. The Constitution also promised many rights and the right to vote was mostly mentioned although they left the voting rights to the states. Ever since the voting rights have evolved and given many groups rights to vote including women and young people; and continue to grow today as some people, especially those who want to accumulate power in the hands of few, the disruptors of democracy would like to take a chance to tamper with the voting rights! To counteract the forces of the few who want to disrupt our political systems and voting rights requires the same strong desire to vote as that of nation’s founder if democracy is to remain alive and protected.

This election time, women and young people should take the lead in numbers to the ballot because they are the most vulnerable group of people in the society that are susceptible to violence whether its gender discrimination or women sexual assaults or gun violence in schools and inequity in education among groups of students. These groups are often suffered discrimination and often deprived of their power to advance or protect themselves. And when you have leaders who will not hear your voice when you needed them the most and to be fair and equal in treating you, the only power you have is to vote them out!

In 2016 we saw election being taken away from an experienced political and intellectual woman to a non-political experienced, a less intelligent white man with the spectrum of prosperity (billionaire businessman)-whose statements and policies are rooted in racism, with his administration defying and reversing civil and human rights like we never seen in the 21st Century. Again, the confirmation of the supreme court justice was both an abomination to all women and the judicial system. The unjust treatment Dr. Christine Ford is suffering by coming forward about the sexual assault by a person who is going to administer the laws of the land in the Supreme Court is a concern in the mind of many people who want justice to prevail and indeed, an insult to every woman. In contrary, Brett Kavanaugh, accused by multiple women for sexual assaults, consumed alcohol excessively and lied about it, has aggressive temperament that doesn’t align with judicial temperament, demonstrated biases and impartiality on his professional decisions, yet, the Senate whose its constitutional role is to nominate and confirm the Supreme Court Justice took side and cease to uphold the judicial process that was just and promoted Brett Kavanaugh by confirming him a supreme court justice, despite the many issues about him that qualified him to be “unfit-for-supreme-court justice”. Even the Retired and Former Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh is not fit for Supreme court. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/us/politics/john-paul-stevens-brett-kavanaugh.html).

Our current president surrounds himself with his radical non-political groups to pre-select the leaders in key positions including the nominee to the supreme court. Nothing about his selected people like Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh is ordinary-the process wasn’t normal, the hearings weren’t normal, and the confirmation wasn’t normal! And that is what they want us to accept, to merit and to value? We say, no! This is not normal and therefore unacceptable! We are experiencing an unprecedented time in the nation’s political history and that my friends, require our remarkable reactions and incredible actions, starting with showing up in numbers to vote on November 6th election.

On Nov. 6th, 2018 one month from today is a midterm election day-another turn, another chance to make your voice heard, to vote and choose the candidate that cares about you, protect your rights and abide by our constitution that value all people and their ideas regardless of their economic backgrounds, cultures, ethnicity or gender.

This coming election unlike any before will determine how you are governed tomorrow-do you want to maintain that status quo, which means keep the things the way they are today, or you want the change-the administration that works for the common good of all people?

Like many have said, this election is the most important one in our lifetime given the unfamiliar partisan politics under president Donald Trump administration with its divisive policies that have brought the nation to its worse party-politics behaviors ever experienced before.

Remember July 25–28, 2016 when the Democratic Party Convention opened and the whole world eagerly watched with great anticipation given the unusual and unchartered battle between two presidential candidates that were as different as Day and Night-Hilary Clinton, a woman and a lifelong politician who by all means and beyond doubts was a leading and clear choice (at least that what all the polls showed) but of course, in the end, Donald J. Trump, a billionaire businessman with no experience in government governing and trailed behind as he failed all the three major presidential debates; yet, to the astonishment and disbelief of many people, he won the presidential election.

Since then, our nation has been sharply divided leaving many people angry and with many unanswered questions-what went wrong? Was it that America wasn’t ready for a woman president? Was it that people didn’t vote for Hilary or didn’t turn out to vote? Was our election system hijacked and rigged to suit unfavorable candidate? The candidate whose campaign was nothing but ruthless, pathetic, lies, and scare tactics; at times, it was backstabbing and character assassination-and while all these were in place, he emerged as a winner. America! Where were you when these were happening?

We witnessed a yearlong of the presidential campaign like never, which resulted in a president like never before, even after two-years-in office-he is unhinged and a threat to the democracy here and around the world. Also, what we witnessed on the Senate and the Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court Justice was beyond comprehension-the rude behaviors and disrespect of women voices and constitution should concern and alarm everyone. So, where are we now, today? A better America today that was yesterday? Are we moving forward or backward?

How we are governed today is a question in the minds of many Americans. The nation has lost its moral compass and values, the unity and the opportunity that glue us together as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

If we must remain true to ourselves, to the constitution, and to the political institutions and systems in place today, we must resist the politics of today and its leadership-the divisive politics and the violation of civil and human rights. By remembering the men and women who gave it all when fought for freedom, peace, and justice for this nation. We can honor their sacrifice by acknowledging that their battle then was tough, yet relentlessly they fought to secure their freedom and democratic government which now call for us to continue with the founder’s sentiment of preserve the democracy. Their battle then was tough, but ours today isn’t in comparison, yet we ignore and neglect the very civic duty that ensures our freedom, peace and justice-the voting role!

Voting gives people a voice in decisions that affect them. Over the last century, the right to vote has been extended to many social groups and populations, although the struggle for civil and human rights continues in many parts of the world including the United States of America. Why?

Because of the failure of the elected democratic government to support and abide by the laws of the land, like the Trump administration and its political machine reversing laws that are in place for the common good of the nations and its people instead, he is demonizing immigrants and instill policies of racism; the weaponizing victims of sexual assaults as was in case of Dr. Anita Hill and now Dr. Christine Ford, or the police brutality against black men; the violations of the judiciary process by the white house and the senators during the hearings to nominate and confirm the Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh-totally a breach to our political and judicial systems.

In the current modern society, the politics of few is on the rise (the rise of the disruptors of democracy) and found a way to undermine the democratic institutions and systems put in place by the people, for the people-the unprecedented plan and actions that defies the rule of laws to cause disparities and disenfranchise people.

During the 2000 US Presidential election, the people of the state of Florida voted but witnessed something else-their votes were disproportioned in the way in which the votes were counted, and people learned the many ways to discount votes. It was an alarming moment in the history of voting, and the supreme court decided the presidential winner…another reminder of the importance of having the impartial Supreme Court Justice and the importance of the democratic and free election and secured voting system that work for everyone-all citizens with the rights to vote must be allowed to vote, and their voted must count for their voice to be heard. When people exercise the civic duty of voting, the system must be fair and deliver what it promises-fair election and every vote count!

Former president Ronald Reagan-the 40th President of the United States of America asserted, “For this Nation to remain true to its people, we cannot allow any American’s vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American Liberties, and, we will not see its luster diminished.”

In just one month from today, you will go to the polls stations to vote, to make your voice heard, and to make your choice of the candidate that will represent you and work for you.

So, here is What Lies Ahead for the 2018 Midterm Election.

1. Your Turn to Vote.

Youth, women, the minority have all the reasons this time to turn-out in numbers. They are the group of people mostly discriminated, and their rights are often denied. Getting out and vote in numbers will be your “ENOUGH” reason to stop this discrimination and the violation of your rights. When we all vote we increase the chance to influence and impact the election and bring changes you want to see. So, all people with voting rights and credentials is a MUST to show up and vote in November 6th, 2018.

2. What You Need to Know to Never Waste Your Vote Again.

You need to know that your vote is your voice and your choice. This means voting is both your right and your civic duty. Be on the ‘I know’ side https://www.usa.gov/how-to-vote. The well-informed voters make sure they choose their leaders wisely. They prefer a good candidate who speaks for them and who hears and listen to their voices.

As Nov. 6th near-up, be sure to get prepared and take part in key decisions. You will soon be bombarded by TV-Ads, Newspapers filled with headlines and catchy phrases-some intended to inform and inspire, and some with misleading information about one candidate, one party, or the other; you might have watched candidates debating and interviewed on TV and social media platforms; not to mention flyers stacked in your mailboxes or hanged on your from doors, and of course the canvasing door-to-door engaging the voters. Make this midterm election a historic election by showing up in numbers and exhibit the power of the vote, the “Let the People Rule” moment as reminded by Theodore Roosevelt when he overcame the power of incumbent during the presidential primaries by telling the bosses everywhere, “Let the People Rule”.

Lastly, pick up those phone calls to not get left behind-the callers are reminding you to vote or informing you what to expect or what to do when you encounter problems during election day. Remember, in the end, only you, the voters can choose whom you want and how you will be governed. Choose wisely, know the candidates, (https://wwww.usa.gov/midterm-state-and-local-elections) the stakes are too high in this election!

3. Why Your Vote Matter!

Voting is not only your powerful weapon to use to decide and influence the outcome on the matters that impact your life but is also a means of gaining power. The only way to influence policy or bring about changes people want to see, people must show up and vote. Voting and democracy are crucial in a democratic government because it provides people an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for what they believe to be right and holds the elected officials accountable for the behavior while in office, to either re-elect them or vote them out.

Moreover, voting prevents a minority from dictating the policies that do not favor the majority. With Trump administration, what we have experienced in his two years in office is a nation divided between the powerful and political class that want to consolidate power into their hands-politics of divisiveness, the growing element of racism, violence rhetoric’s on the streets and in schools, bullying is on the rise the disregard of rule of laws, the violation of human right, and yes, the lies and scare tactics, the leadership that want to empower the 1% rich people at the expense of the remaining 99% of the people; thus, the glorification of dictatorship and the suppression of individual rights (rights of women to be heard and rights of children to be with their parents); and the list goes on, all intended to confuse, exploit people and dismantle the democratic system that holds and keep the US standing as examples for others to flow.

This current administration is a good reminder as to why your vote matter. It matters when you reject all that Trump administration has exhibited time after time by stepping forward and bring your bargaining power-the voting power’ and vote out all those who are deaf to your voices and blind to your ideas and values, and bring back the democratic government that works for all people not just for the few.

Amplifying your voices collectively matters and can make a bit different. It can change the administration and its leadership when we all vote.

Remember, when we all vote we are voting for unity and opportunity. On the issues that make your life better-your voting against tax break for 1% rich that make other programs that help poor and middle-class citizen just get to the next day been defunded-the affordable health care, the education funds for school programs and equity in education not to buy guns for teachers; you are voting against women violence-their you want women voices to be heard when they report being sexually assaulted; you are voting against gender and racial discrimination and the inhumane treatment of immigrants and their children, you are voting to bring back the values that bind us together as people of this nation. So, when we all vote can really be a game changer!

4. And Now, the Dos and the Don’ts of this Mid Term Elections.

The Dos:

· Know why your vote matters in this election and cast your vote.

· Already registered to vote and meet all the voter ID requirement-what you need to bring to vote-photo ID vs. Non-photo ID, know your polling Station, familiarize with voting procedures and rules, types of voting-early voting, in-person voting, Vote in other Language, and voters registration deadlines.

· Check or update your Voter Registration-Check names and address-how, when, and why to avoid anything that may jeopardize you voting rights and ultimately your vote.

· Decide whom to vote for-research you candidate to know what they stand for (their positions on the issues) so that you can evaluate good and right candidate to vote for. Who is likely to unite us, than to divide us. Who is likely to bring opportunities you can be part of it-opportunities that impact and improve your livelihood.

· Vote against things that are not right, issues that are the reason for your struggle with housing, education, Health Care Discrimination in the workplace-equal pay and pay increase, violence against women-sexual abuse and gender bias. In doing so, you are demanding solutions; you are using your voting power to change the status quo that neither represents you not working for you-your ideas and values.

The Don’ts:

· Don’t register to vote and not vote.

· Don’t say you are undecided-make decision to vote.

· Don’t give any excuse-Like I am too busy; I have no time, Lines are too long, Polling Stations are too far, I don’t have a proper or Qualifying ID. When you don’t vote you lower or limit the chances of improving the issues that are at stake in every election, issues that affect your daily livelihood. When you don’t vote, your problems remain unsolved and may get worse.

· Don’t know the issues? Use all the means you must look up your candidates on the internet-their websites, their social medias pages-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, ask your co-worker, your friends, your neighbor; use your Smart Phone to ask questions and find answers-ask, Siri or Alexa!

· Don’t waste your Right nor your Vote.

In the end, on Nov. 6th, 2018 coming election, all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the US Senate will be in contests. For the Donald J. Trump administration, this midterm election is the vote of Confidence or No-Confidence on his leadership and the direction he is taking this nation.

For you, us, we the people is how you or we want to be governed and treated. This election is upon us to weigh the pros and cons of the Donald J. Trump’s leadership and exercise our right and duty towards shaping the direction of the country.

If you feel you are not treated equal, it should remind you about-are you a slave or a citizen? It should tell you about your right to vote and be represented rightfully. Just as people from the time immemorial have rejected the government that control its people by divisiveness policies, by instilling fears on its people, and by violating the basic civil and human rights-people inspired by the ideas about the rights of man with this powerful words Thomas Jefferson wrote on the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that “All men are created equal” that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

We have, therefore, come too far to give up our Rights or to be denied our Rights and Who we are as Americans. As a democratic government let us all come together and vote our voices. The people collective power brings change-election gives power to the people. People have fought for the right to vote, don’t waste your right nor your vote.

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I am an educator. I am a woman. I am a parent. I am passionate about teaching and learning things that made us whole and great!