Choose the lesser of two evils — But don’t stop there

This upcoming election has been hanging over the heads of all Americans like a big, gloomy, blue and red cloud. I’ve seen countless Facebook posts, articles and Twitter threads all pondering how we are supposed to choose between Joe Biden and Donald Trump — two men who could not be more different and are both perceived negatively by a majority of the country. Many are feeling nervous about casting their ballots. After all, we’ll have to deal with the consequences of this election for the next four years, and considering all the issues on the line, the stakes are high. Choosing the lesser of two evils requires us to first examine our morality, but it doesn’t end there. More Americans need to realize that we are our own secret weapon — democracy can work for us if we put in the effort.

As Americans, we expect a free and fair election, and with that right comes the responsibility of doing our work before we cast our vote for the next leader of the nation. We cannot waste the opportunity to mold our future because we didn’t feel like researching the candidate’s past policy decisions or evaluating the strength of their plans.

We need to be informed for democracy to exist. We need to participate. Voting is but one (very important) tool citizens can use to influence politics. Getting involved in politics can certainly seem like a daunting undertaking, and it’s not as if thinking about and discussing politics is known for leaving people with a warm, fuzzy feeling, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We don’t live in a utopia, therefore, there is always more to be done.

There are many ways to participate in politics between election cycles. Subscribe to publications that will give you unbiased and up-to-date information. Once you’ve found issues that inspire you, put that passion to good use by joining voting leagues and political organizations, attend rallies and go listen to experts speak on issues you care about.

Politics is not a once-every-four-year event; it is an ongoing conversation that we all need to pay attention to, because if we don’t, who is going to hold politicians to their campaign promises? If politicians aren’t doing everything in their power to act on the behalf of their constituents, then we need to be aware of that so we can remove them in the next election cycle. If we turn a blind eye as soon as elections are over, then there is no incentive for politicians to follow through on anything, and nothing will ever get better.

This is not a job that can only be taken up by a small percentage of Americans to be successful. If we want the government to work with us, we all need to put in work. Unfortunately, we are not in a place where we can blindly trust that the government will always act in our best interest, and right now we shouldn’t expect it to. We can’t even expect voting to solve all of our problems because, historically speaking, it hasn’t.

If we want to get an accurate idea of what Americans need, then we need all Americans to speak up. We are dissatisfied by both presidential candidates because they aren’t accurately representing what most of America wants; they are representing the Americans that make the most noise, the Americans who they think will get them elected.

If we want better candidates, if we want to vote for a candidate who isn’t a lesser of two evils, we need to make the most noise. Don’t let political apathy continue to sabotage elections. Vote for the lesser of two evils now and stay involved. Show politicians that strong morals mean more to Americans than they might think.