Voting: It’s the Audacious Thing To Do!

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

As far back as I can remember, as far back as when I was eleven years old, I have been interested in politics and presidential debates. I didn’t always understand what they were saying but I loved their passion when they spoke on television.

When I was finally of legal age to vote, I was the happiest voter in line to cast my ballot. You would think I was on the line for a Disney ride!

Now once again, my interest in politics has peaked more than ever!

My knowledge about our past and present leaders helps me keep an open mind when I listen to the Republicans debate each other and I am thrilled to see such a melting pot of diversity from the Democratic candidates. But I am more than excited to see that a female has such a strong possibility of being the President of the United States of America.

As a person with a physical disability, I feel that Hillary Clinton gives us hope. No matter what our opinions are on welfare, war, insurance and education, we can agree that women in general are expected to do more for less, so to see Senator Clinton take on these gentlemen, it gives me hope that one day the people with physical disabilities will be seen as a powerful force to be reckoned with in all areas of the world.

But are we taking the proper steps now to align ourselves to be in such a position? We can start by gaining as much information as we can collect on all of the candidates to see which one is the best one for us.

Some of you might vote with your own special interests that don’t have a direct connection to your needs as a person with a physical disability like global warming, taxes, and business but in the end you must not ignore that you have a physical disability and in some way the government’s actions will impact that part of your life.

Some of you might say that you will be off the government’s service programs so you are not concerned with any of the candidate’s views on issues for the physically disabled community. But you are fooling yourself, my friend.

If you choose to ignore the candidate that can best serve you then you choose to throw away that right to complain when your necessary benefits and special assistance programs get shut down.

It’s easy for all of us to say that we like a particular candidate for any other reason other than the issues that directly affect us, a physically disabled community. It helps us bond with the able bodied population during conversations about this year’s election.

But let’s get serious. If we don’t support the candidate who will ensure that we have equal access to medical care, public places, employment opportunities, housing resources, independent living, education and funding to support the programs that help us pursue these avenues then our interest in global warming or oil prices will be merely a news topic to discuss with our neighbors.

Don’t let your vote go to waste. Do your research, be selfish, find out which candidate has the best interest in you and your future. Then, go out and vote! It’s the audacious thing to do!!
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