As someone who has had the privilege of knowing people who survived the Holocaust, I am keenly aware of what can happen when a government runs amok. The unfulfilled promise of “Never again” requires each of us to remain engaged in doing our part to defend decency and protect democratic institutions from eroding.
If we don’t vote because “it doesn’t make a difference” then we are abandoning the people who put their bodies on the line to win that right. The suffragettes endured ridicule, violence, arrest, and prison to win the right for women to vote in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others suffered terrible violence to protect the voting rights of African-Americans. If voting isn’t important, then why do people in power work so hard to stop others from voting?
We cannot be complacent. There are many ways to make a difference. The first and easiest is to vote. Next, you can encourage everyone you know to vote. You could volunteer to drive people to the polls or to be a poll observer. I’ve gathered with friends to write letters to tell people who haven’t voted recently to say why I think voting is so important and to encourage them to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union and many others have opportunities for getting involved. Do whatever you are comfortable with, but in the name of the people who have no voice, please do something. Our rights depend on it.