Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

I’m not sure how everyone feels right at this moment, but I myself am sick of hearing about the election. I’m sick of it on numerous levels. The main thing I feel is that, no matter what you say or to whom you say it to, or even how you say it, it won’t make one bit of difference. Nothing makes a difference anymore. I am a young voter. I recently started to dabble in politics since I knew I needed something to believe in — politically speaking of course. After looking into all the candidates, I made a choice; a choice not influenced by propaganda or any persons, but a choice of my own. And since we live in this wonderful democracy, I voted. Everyone I knew was voting, young and old. For some of us, myself included, this was our first election. I was elated and excited. To think: my generation would finally be able to voice a change. We would be able to make a difference and I would be a part of it. Nothing thus far compares to that feeling. Perhaps it’s a feeling of empowerment — I’m not sure how to describe it with words.

This calls to mind one of my grandmother’s friends, Emily. She is 76 years old, and hasn’t voted for the last 10 years. It was because of this election that she registered. She too wanted to make a difference. However, she didn’t have a feeling of empowerment, but rather a feeling of urgency. She feared for the state of our nation and voted against our President, George W. Bush. She too, had her reasons. But now, after the election, I, much like Emily, feel discouraged and let down. I feel as though my stance meant absolutely nothing, but the worst of it all is that I feel as though my vote and the votes of many others made no dent – – no difference whatsoever. Is it too easily overlooked that the two states most affected by 9/11 voted overwhelmingly for Kerry? Even Washington, D.C. voted almost unanimously for Kerry. It’s not only the election that worries me. On Nov. 2, a famous Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh (yes he’s related to Vincent van Gogh) , was slain in Amsterdam while innocently bike riding through the streets. He was killed for having made a proactive movie, “Submission,” which is critical of Islam and stirred tensions. He was shot and stabbed with a letter left on his body. According to the BBC and scotsman.com, the letter basically threatened the life of a Dutch politician, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and said that “America will crumble.” Everything now scares me.

Van Gogh’s murder is an attack on free speech. If the Dutch people cannot even use their free speech who can? We are supposed to be living in a free world. Many of us in America are considered lucky for the freedoms we have which many people around the world are so deprived of. Freedom of speech is a part of democracy and a part of our modern age. If Theo van Gogh can’t even express his view in a free country like Holland, who can? If we, the American people, can’t even voice our opinion, what good then is democracy? What good is this so-called “freedom,” I’d like to know?

I do know one thing: if we have to live in a world of fear – – fear from just stating our opinions that everyone in the world is entitled to – for what, then, is life worth living?

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