November is coming: Your vote does matter


Kernel Opinion SIG

There was something terribly reminiscent over the weekend of the 2016 presidential election: Some of the nation was determined to vote for change but some were too depressed to care. 

It’s not surprising. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has lasting implications in our nation that puts the significance of a presidential election to shame. His confirmation is an appointment for life, and with it the ideological swing of our country’s highest court favors the conservative side for the foreseeable future. 

For some, this has been a victorious weekend, but I’m addressing those who have stewed on the couch while watching the proceedings and who have hidden themselves away in their homes or behind laptop screens out of despair. I have only bipartisan intentions in writing this column, but I am directly addressing those who are angry over Kavanaugh’s confirmation. 

When speaking with friends following the 2016 election and looking to 2020 and after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I’m hearing a phrase repeated that disturbs me: “What I think doesn’t matter anyway.”

It’s a dangerous place many voters in this country have come to: this apathetic spectator place. This place that coddles passivism. This place that reinforces feelings of insignificance and despair. 

It’s become cliché to say, “If you don’t like the politicians, vote them out”, but that is exactly what I am telling you. This passivism is unbecoming. The social media rants unaccompanied by votes are shameful for members of a democratic republic. In so many ways, we have become like children throwing fits over what we dislike, but remaining unwilling to change it.  

What you think does matter, but as long as people by the thousands choose to remain silent out of despair, it will affect no change. The Kernel recently published an editorial imploring members of the UK community to vote no matter if the vote was for major, third party or write-in candidates. I would like to echo that plea with this emphasis: This is not the end of the world. Senators matter. Congresspersons matter. Mayors matter. City council members matter. There is a lot more you can do for your country through voting, and I ask that we all work together to focus on the future. 

Tomorrow, Oct. 9, is the deadline to register to vote in Kentucky. I write this to implore every student on this campus to register to vote and to show up at the polls on election day. Whether you don’t like what’s going on or you are completely comfortable with the state of the country, never let despair or comfort keep you away from exercising your duty to vote.