It’s not only possible in the US; it can also happen here in the Philippines, if and only if we exercise our right to vote.
Change is coming—a common phrase we always hear every election season. But for Filipinos, this reverberated more back in the 2016 national elections. When a new president was hailed as the Philippines’ leader, did we see change? Yes. Of course, we did. It’s an inevitable concept waiting to happen every second, every minute, and every hour so long as the world goes round. What we really need to ask is will this change our society for better or for worse? Too much has been said already about our current administration, and right now, we wouldn’t dare add more details about what is very evident for everyone.
However, here’s something we must reiterate that you must ingrain in your minds: exercise your right to suffrage. If you’re not a registered voter, then get out of your house, wear a face shield and mask, and go to your local municipality to sign up.
Your Vote Matters—Here’s Proof
While we still often hear some people saying, “There’s no use if I vote” or “Nope, I’m not voting. Why does it matter?” Well, here’s the thing about voting. To not care about politics, in general—especially not to vote—is such a privileged thing to say. The reason you have that way of reasoning is due to the fact that regardless of who sits on the throne, you will still have a comfortable life. So, good for you.
But here’s the thing, you have to understand that there are millions who rely on the government. So, whether it’s financial assistance, education, family planning, or career, countless of our marginalized communities will forever and always look for the government, especially in times of turmoil.
Your one vote matters because there are some politicians who will use their power to turn the tides in their favor. And in doing so, more often than not, they directly affect the minorities and marginalized sectors that make it harder for them to live a life they deserve. Why? Because we are not all on the same boat; rather we are only in the same ocean.
So, during the election season, stop thinking about what’s in it for you. Instead, think about what’s in it for our society. Exercising your right will never just be about you. In the 2020 US Elections, the world was watching the most powerful country elect their next leaders. For the past four years, we’ve seen how Donald Trump led his nation to its downfall—he was ineffective, racist, sexist, misogynist, and many more. Basically, he embodies the definition of a bad leader, which Forbes already said so—we’re just agreeing.
When a new election recently took place, many of the American people finally woke up from their deep slumber of privilege. This resulted in having a better leader than what they had for the past four years. They did it because they spoke their truth and did what was best for their countrymen.
In fact, when you say that your vote doesn’t matter, you’re totally wrong. To illustrate, there was a close call in many states dividing the republicans and democrats. In Massachusetts alone, there were two towns wherein Biden won against Trump by a single vote as per the Associated Press. It was in Sutton wherein Biden got 3042 and Trump got 3041, as well as Webster wherein Biden got 4003 and Trump got 4002.
Actions And Not Words
Now that Joe Biden is President-elect of the United States of America together with Kamala Harris, the first female, black, and Asian American vice-president to be elected, they are already starting to do their work even if their term will officially start on January 20, 2021. Recently, they made public their transition COVID-19 advisory board, which features professionals with relevant background—from medicine, health policy, biomedical research, and public health, to name a few.
Just by looking at these notable men and women, it already seems like there’s really a promising general plan of action in store for all of their constituents. Come to think of it, Biden and Harris didn’t put military officials to lead this very rigorous task of battling the coronavirus pandemic.
So, let this be a realization for many Filipinos to stop using the so-called resiliency narrative in times of calamities or crisis. If our leaders were really effective and efficient in the first place, they would automatically know how to reduce the risk and effects of disasters. Whether it’s a volcanic eruption, global health crisis, or a supertyphoon, a leader would instantly act upon it and never arrive when he’s already too late the hero.
Only The Young
When Taylor Swift sang in one of her songs, “don’t say you’re too tired to fight. It’s just a matter of time, up there’s the finish line, so run,” we just can’t agree more. You see, the majority of the older generation are conservative, and unfortunately, they’ve been stuck as to what they were used to. So, it’s up to the youth to do our part and make them understand. Echoing Jose Rizal’s wise words, “ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.”
No matter how much effort you put into making others see the perspective you believe is right and due, is already a huge help alone. That’s because you have to remember that even the littlest of your efforts can make a big difference once it’s aggregated.
And speaking of the younger generation, the national election this year also recorded the highest youth voter turnout in US history. So, if they can do it, we highly believe that Filipino youth can do the same, too. Because now, we know what to do, what we want, and what we deserve. So that someday, when real positive change arrives, never will we hear any Filipino say, “bawal mapagod kase hindi tayo mayaman.”