I didn't grow up in a political household. I knew my parents watched the news and read the newspapers and I had a vague idea for whom they voted. Overall, however, I didn't know a whole lot about our political system. I learned a bit in school, sang a lot of Schoolhouse Rock, and then voted for Ross Perot in a mock election because our school magazine said he had horses. If there was ever a way into my 10 year old heart, that was it.
Flash forward to college. I was a freshman in 2004. I got to campus and realized kids my age were hardcore into politics. It seemed like everyone had picked a side and I was all like, but do any of them have horses? Just kidding...I knew a little bit more than that. I've always prided myself on my smarts and I felt defeated that this was an arena in which I had little knowledge. It also emphasized the fact that I grew up in a suburban bubble and the politics of the world had little affect on my daily life.
I'd like to say I jumped in head first, but I mostly asked a few friends on AIM (remember AIM?) who they were voting for and tried to pay closer attention to the ads on TV. It was cool that the first time I was able to vote was for president and I really did feel like I made a good choice. By the time I graduated, it was 2008 and we were ready to vote again. I had learned a lot in college about what I valued in a political candidate.
Ever since then, I vote every time. Big or small. I'm happy to say that I know a lot more about what's going on in the world. It's also never too late to learn more. Seek out the information you need to make a choice that is right for you. Ask friends, find a local official, go (carefully) online. Your voice matters. Do some research. Vote.
Here is a link to get you started on your quest. https://www.vote411.org/
No word yet on if any of this year's candidates own horses. Please advise.
Teacher, reader, tea drinker, and dog mom.