With the 1st Democratic Presidential Primary Debates taking place last week at Miami’s Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the 2020 election season is now underway.
And with such a wide selection of candidates (25 Democrats, two Republicans), the choices and options are as varied as ever.
The disregard some have for this event and the election in general, is just as startling.
I’ve overheard on numerous occasions people saying: “he’s [Trump} gonna win,” with all the same indifference one would use when ordering take-out. And yet, those some people will bellow the loudest upon their choice losing, despite taking no interest in voting for them, and subsequently not even bothering to go to the ballots accordingly.
I also hear: “you can’t lose, if you don’t play.” True enough, but you can’t win if you don’t play either.
Maybe part of it is the jaded cynicism that sometimes accompanies age and experience, or maybe it’s just forgetting that we all have a voice that’s louder than we can imagine.
The power of voices and opinions in America is something that we’re reminded of when we protest social injustice, boycott establishments, and march for rights.
So why so little love for the vote?
With this American right, we the people are given a platform to hold those with power accountable for a brighter future, or respond to their indiscretions with resounding displeasure.
Given the last presidential election, along with voter fraud, ballot count discrepancies, and the alleged hacking of our voting systems right here in Florida, I completely understand why one would lose faith in our electoral system.
But here’s the thing; there are battles and there are wars.
A good soldier doesn’t stop fighting, or put down their weapon because it doesn’t work. They work to adjust beyond the pain/problem, and press forward.
They work towards doing something.
It’s easy to give up, it’s even easier to make excuses -- but much simpler to not even care. Thank God for those who stay attentive and mindful of their voice, for they have truly changed our history, and bettered our world.
When director Ava DuVernay released her 4-part series ‘When They See Us’ on Netflix earlier this month, retelling the history of the Central Park Five (now known as the Exonerated Five), she and the film’s cast set about making sure their story wasn’t whispered.
In doing so, Columbia University’s black law students sent a petition to university administration asking that the lead prosecutor in the past case, Elizabeth Lederer, be fired from her present-day lecturer position at the school.
Soon thereafter, Lederer announced she would not return as a result, and would not renew her teaching license for the following academic year, amid growing public disapproval of her handling of the 1989 case as its lead prosecutor.
What makes this so telling however is, an earlier 2013 documentary about this case was released, and a similar petition was attempted then at Columbia Law School to no avail.
As such, who knows what would have happened if this new director didn’t try to bring light to this subject, or these other students didn’t again demand action--they instead pushed to make sure their voice was heard.
This election season, demand action of those around you who have resigned themselves to be politically-mute bystanders, or even worse: apathetic Americans.
The war continues, and I’ll see you on the battlefield in November 2020; battlecry ready and waiting.
Kevin Lewis is a news and opinion contributor with the SDNL.