Two Good Reasons Why I’m Going to #VoteAnyway

1) Because of our grandmothers.

2) Because of our granddaughters.

It wasn’t that long ago in the history of our nation that it was illegal for women to vote. That fact boggles my mind. As a modern woman with so much privilege, I have trouble understanding the cultural mentality that insisted women were incapable of voting responsibly.

Of course, that mentality is not new. And it has not gone away. Our Founders engaged in heated debates about who should have the right to vote in the infant United States. It’s as if they feared regular people and found ways to limit the popular vote. These days, legislators in many of these not-always united states still debate. And they still seem to fear the people’s voice at the ballot box.

I have trouble understanding that mentality. And so did our grandmothers.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul.

Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt.

So many women fought so very hard under such difficult and dangerous circumstances. Too many women died in order to ensure that I have the right to vote today.

How can I not vote?!?!

And then there are my granddaughters and great granddaughters to consider.

After all we have been through, after all our grandmothers have done for us, our granddaughters’ rights to function as equal citizens in our nation are still not complete and their future is at risk.

How I vote this year in national, state and local elections will be one immensely important way that I can speak; that I may influence public policy that will affect the every day lives of our children for generations to come. Health care, poverty, the environment, employment equity, criminal justice, domestic violence, education… The list goes on and on.

How can I not vote?!?!

Whether I’m excited about a candidate’s personality or not, my challenge is to keep the big picture in mind and vote for the principles I believe in. To vote for the issues I care about. To vote.

In this current election cycle, we are watching voters across the political spectrum express frustration and discouragement, anger and hopelessness. We are hearing people say they just won’t vote at all. But I say #VoteAnyway.

Let’s all research the candidates’ positions on the issues we care about. Let’s all open our minds and challenge any stereotypes and prejudices we may have. Let’s all plow through the hopelessness and sow seeds of hope for our daughters and our granddaughters.

Let’s #VoteAnyway.

By the way, if you haven’t seen these movies on women in the suffragette movement, I highly recommend them. Iron Jawed Angels (2004) and Suffragette (2015). Talk about plowing though hopelessness! I hold on to hope because of so many amazing women who have gone before me. We stand on their shoulders. Now let’s shoulder the opportunity/responsibility/privilege to vote in this current election so that we can keep on harvesting hope for all our children.

C (15)

 

 

 

In honor of my grandmother, Charlotte.

 

 

Charlotte Vaughan Coyle lives in Paris TX and blogs about intersections of faith, culture and politics on her website and Intersections Facebook page. Intersections logoShe is national secretary for Coffee Party USA and contributes regularly to the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page.

Charlotte is an ordained minister within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and also blogs about Scripture from a progressive Christian approach in her Living in The Story Musings.

6 thoughts on “Two Good Reasons Why I’m Going to #VoteAnyway”

  1. My mother was striken with polio at age 3 leaving her paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair her whole adult life (used crutches and braces in childhood) She fought hard in her home state for legislation to break down barriers and create access to community colleges (one from which she graduated valedictorian when I was 11) public transportation, office bulildings, curbed sidewalks, handicapped parking- all things my generation and future generations take for granted now. Bottom line I am proud that she chose to be a fighter and created real change not just for herself but for every single differently abled person who deserved the same rights afforded everyone else. When we look back at those who fought hard for things we can now take for granted, like being able to vote, to live free and make choices- we must honor them and their hard fought battles for inclusion in society by exercising the riggts they fought for us the have. Vote November 8th. Whether or not you want to, whether or not you think it doesn’t matter JUST DO IT. Because in this world the things we take for granted can easily be lost if we don’t honor them.

  2. Disagree. Ballots don’t record gender, race, etc., so voting merely to vote doesn’t make any point. One can go into the voting booth and write in “Martha Washington,” if they want — but for what purpose?

    When neither the Democrat nor Republican candidate reflect your greatest priorities, you can vote third party or withhold your vote, but it’s a near certainty that we’ll get the R or the D for president. It has been over 100 years since Americans elected a president who wasn’t a D or R.

    1. Agree “… voting merely to vote doesn’t make any point.” But I don’t know anyone who is saying that.

      My point is that voting is important – because of the issues. And precious – because of the people. Thanks for reading.

  3. Beautifully written, as usual, Charlotte. I agree with you entirely. You are a breath of fresh air after all of the onorous political posturings. Love the photo of your grandmother! We need to treasure the good from our heritage and learn from their/our mistakes. Keep up the clarity and sincerity.

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