Did you know that voting has not been an available right to every citizen in the United States always? Well, it has not… Now, Most of you should remember that from basic history class in school but over the years we tend to forget some things. So let me refresh your memories:
Visiting the site History of Voting Rights you can see a detailed list – here is my simplified version…
- 1776: the right to vote begins in America as a legal privilege almost exclusively available to white, property-owning, Protestant men.
- 1807: Women lose the right to vote in every state in the US for the next 113 years.
- 1828: Maryland becomes the last state to remove religious restrictions when it passes legislation enfranchising Jews. White men can no longer be denied the right to vote on the basis of their religion.
- 1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo renders the lands now known as Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada US territory. All Mexican persons within these territories are declared US citizens but simultaneously denied the right to vote by English proficiency, literacy, and property requirements along with violence, intimidation, and racist nativism.
- 1869-70: The Fifteenth Amendment is passed in Congress and ratified by the states. The right to vote is now legally guaranteed to all male citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
- 1882: Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act, which establishes restrictions and quotas on Chinese immigration while legally excluding Chinese persons from citizenship and voting.
- 1919-20: The Nineteenth Amendment is adopted by Congress and ratified by the states into law. The right to vote is now guaranteed to all citizens regardless of gender.
- 1924: The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 declares all non-citizen Native Americans born in the USA to be citizens with the right to vote.
- 1964: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed, making discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, or religion in voting, public areas, the workplace, and schools illegal.
- 1971: The 26th Amendment sets the national voting age to 18 and over.
(yes, that was a simplified version)
Now, look at this list closely – look at how long it took this country to give the right to vote to every citizen regardless of gender, religion, race or color or how well they could speak English. These are privileges we must not take for granted. It’s barely been 100 years that women could even vote because they revoked that right in 1807! It took another 40+ years to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. That’s half a lifetime people! HALF!
People were taxed, denied, heckled and even killed trying to get the right to vote – So does your vote matter – Your damn right it does and so does mine! Stop taking for granted that those in office will do what is best for you – if you don’t vote for the ones who will work for what you want then those who in office will do what they feel is best for them!
I am one of those women who didn’t vote or partake in politics for a long time, my family did not instill in me the importance of it. I was not taught how my voice matters and how my participation could affect the future. But in 2008, I started to pay attention. Then in 2012… I cast my first vote in over 30 years! I was proud of my vote. My vote mattered.
I am not going to tell you who to vote for… you must make that decision on your own. The initial candidate I wanted did not make it as the Democractic Nominee so my search for the next best candidate began. I struggled. I watched debates from both sides and made my decision after many questions, tons of research and what felt right in my heart. Here is a chart that was shared with me on Facebook and gives a breakdown of the three main candidates…. this helped me a lot – although I did go back and fact check the majority of this.
I will say this:
I will not vote for someone who displays behaviors worse than my grandchildren.
I will not vote for someone who takes to name calling and blaming others for their mishaps.
I will not vote for someone who encourages hate, racism and belittles our citizens.
I will not vote for someone who cannot speak in complete sentences and answer questions.
I do not want a president who is going to “go off” on someone on Twitter cause they don’t like what is said about them.
I do not want a president who is demeaning and arrogant.
I do not want a president who has no respect for themselves nor this country.
I do want a president who will show class and respect to the citizens of this country, themselves, the office and the world.
I do want a president who can see things from multiple views and does their best to unite the country to bring it to a better place.
We all want the best for ourselves.. but sometimes we have to look beyond ourselves out into the communities and at our neighbors and see what can be done to better their lives. When those around us do better, we all do better.
We need to know we are safe and equal!
We need equality –
in religious freedom, sexual orientation, in our bodies, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, and in this country!
So who am I voting for – Hillary Clinton! Why? Well, out of the two main candidates running she has always worked for the family… the children. The children being our future means investments must be made in them. Investing in their future – their education – their time with their families. Making sure there is a future for our children is the only way we can assure a strong, positive place for our country in the world. Also, she carries herself with respect – she does not incite hate or riots! She can speak in clear concise sentences. (Yes, that is important) She knows what the job takes and has experience. Look back up there ^^^ at that chart – she is working for everything I believe we need as a country.
So there is my two cents and your history lesson. Vote because we have fought too long for those rights – vote because our future depends on it. Vote because we need to continue the great path Obama started. I will miss that man and his family. Respectful and respectable. Never drama, never a doubt!