Do you know how many people in the world don't even have the option of voting or who's votes don't matter because their democracy is a total sham? I don't either, but I'm willing to bet it's far greater than the number of people who vote we the freedoms we take for granted.
We take for granted that we won't be maimed when we go vote. We don't think twice about whether the election is stolen so our votes don't matter anyway (well, after 2000, maybe we do a little, but I digress). As women, we don't consciously think about all the women throughout the world who are denied the franchise simply because they are women and that we've only had this right for a little more than 81 years. We don't worry that changing our government will erupt in violence and war.
Voting is our right. It's a privilege that we were granted in the Constitution, although some of us had to fight a bit harder than others for the right to be added to the Constitution. But it's not just a right, in my mind. Voting is a responsibility.
We owe it to the millions of people around the world who are denied the right to vote. And we owe it to future generations to have cared for our democracy by voting. The decisions made today and in the next 4 years by our government will have ripple effects for generations to come. Simply put, if you're concerned about the future for your children and grandchildren you must vote.
Decisions are made by those who show up.
*President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing, "What Kind of Day Has It Been," Season 1, Episode 22, originally aired May 17, 2000.