Be an adult and vote in November

I remember the first time I shaved. It was a real rite of passage for me, although it didn’t happen until I was on the doorstep of turning 18.

Of course, there were many things that we couldn’t wait to do when we were younger. Driving was a big one – probably the biggest. The freedom you got from getting your license was huge.

That first job and earning your own money was very important, at least in my day. Jobs for teens are much harder to come by now.

We couldn’t wait to “grow up,” so we could make our own decisions and do what we wanted when we wanted. Little did we know that the reality was nothing like the pipe dream.

But there was another thing about being an adult that we should have focused on more than we did, and that is voting.

I remember the first time I voted, and it was a big deal. I felt like I was really making a difference, and I was. Everyone who votes can make a difference.

The problem we have in this country is that too many people don’t vote. And we have even made it harder in some states for people to vote, which makes absolutely no sense to me. We should encourage everyone to vote and make it as easy as possible for them.

If that means voting on the weekend so more people can, we should do that. If that means voting over a couple of days to ensure better turnout, I say let’s do that. We should have same day registration everywhere.

Political parties are about ideas (or a lack of, these days) and issues. That is why any particular party should stand or fall on ideas. If you have the best platform and ideas, you should win. If not, you should lose.

We need to stop with the Gerrymandering and voter suppression. It is unfair and un-American.

The politics of “win at all costs” has had the effect of sidelining even more voters, sadly. Most people just shut their eyes and ears to the constant fighting and lying and whining coming from Washington and even the state house.

We are all pretty much sick of it. And that is why voter turnout was less than 60 percent in 2016. Locally, turnout is usually much lower than that.

Do you know people who don’t vote? If so, encourage them to, no matter who they plan on voting for. I see voting as my duty, and I always vote, no matter how “small” the election. And I could argue there is no such thing as a small election.

The upcoming Nov. 6 election is certainly important. In this incredibly poisonous political climate, it is incumbent on all of us to do our duty as citizens of this country and vote.

Vote right, vote left or vote center – not that there is such a thing anymore. But please, make sure you get out and vote. It is an important job that we have, and many of us simply don’t do it.

And that is a shame, because in many places, people don’t have that right.

If you don’t plan to vote, please have an imaginary conversation with your teenage self and explain why, as an adult in this country, you just can’t be bothered to do your part in the election process. Explain why you have other things to do and can’t possibly spend a few minutes actively taking part in our democracy.

Your imaginary teenager will probably be very disappointed in what he or she has become.