Two weeks ago I produced the second edition of “D.C. Interrupted,”and my co-host brought something up worth mentioning here. She tells our listeners that she heard this kid say his vote in the presidential election doesn’t count more than a homeless man’s, than the guy who sits outside Whole Foods all day long hoping for change.
That’s a harsh reality check, but it isn’t an entirely unfounded observation. It reflects a legitimate attitude shared by many our age, and begs the questions: why register? Why apply for an absentee ballot? Why care enough to vote, if no one guarantees that vote counts toward anything substantive?
Below are the ten reasons to just do it, inspired by that interaction and the passing of National Voter Registration Day last Tuesday,
1. No real message registers when you occupy a park; an opinion gets real when you register your vote.
2. Student loans eventually turn into regular payments. Or student loans get you through graduate school.
3. In the next two presidential terms, most of us will want a real job. Most of us will want four+ years of higher education to pay off, literally. It helps to send out applications under healthy economic conditions.
4. Taxes. Are. Real. Ah!
5. Maybe you’re not dreaming of white picket fences yet, but a reliable housing market provides a certain measure of security for the “real person” you’re growing into.
6. Health insurance is not forever mom or dad’s domain. (Deep breath).
7. Another four+ years of debates over legalizing gay marriage will really get in the way of us celebrating a “big moment” with all of our friends.
8. Social security checks are a long way away. Until they aren’t.
9. You may want to address why we’re still hanging yellow ribbons.
10. That kid is right. Everyone’s vote counts the same as everyone else’s vote. But for it to count at all, the ballot has to be cast.