DC Society: A message from the past

Illustration+shows+a+protest+with+the+words+%22D.C+Society%22+written+at+the+bottom

Photo credit: Thuy Vy Bui

David Carter

A couple of days ago, I was on my Facebook feed watching a live Clinton campaign event in Miami Beach, Florida. It was a typical Clinton stump speech in which she focused on Climate and the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. But to my own surprise, former Vice President Al Gore came to campaign with Clinton in the sunshine state.

Gore presented the audience with two main points. The first was about climate change and we know about the former Vice President’s activism and work to address the issue of climate change, but his second point struck me.

“Your vote really really really counts, a lot, you can consider me as an exhibit A of that group,” Gore said.

So let’s look at exhibit A: Back in 2000 in the original vote count of the state of Florida, the difference between the vote of then Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore was 537 votes in Bush’s favor. The recount vote that followed seemed to go in Gore’s favor but it was immediately nullified by the supreme Court ruling, Bush v. Gore. Despite that, many people, especially people in that room, believed that Gore should have won that election.

In retrospect, there could have been a number of reasons why Gore had lost the 2000 presidential election. Though he had won the popular vote, Gore still lost the electoral college and he accepted that. He didn’t go out there trying to say that Bush was illegitimate. He stood by his country and continued to press on the issues.

Gore reminds all Americans, specifically millennials, that you can’t just sit this one out.

“I don’t want you to be in a position years from now where you say, ‘Actually, you did win, it just wasn’t close enough to make sure that all the votes are counted or whatever.’ Elections have consequences, your vote counts, your vote has consequences,” Gore said.

I know that many of you are frustrated and many of you want to sit out this election. Some want to use their vote as a protest vote, but the truth is you have 1,459 (four years) days to protest and get your voices out there for everyone to hear. Even I have 27 more days to drive this issue home. But you only have one day to vote on the issues that matter to you, and for some, it could be the most important decision you make in your life.

Gore said it best, “The will to change and build a brighter future is itself a renewable resource.”

You can’t just sit at home just because the candidates on the ballot are not good enough for you. You have to get up, go out, and vote. So don’t let this moment escape you like it escaped others back in 2000.