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Essays on Civic Engagement

This Is Your Democracy

It Will Take All of Us to Make a Change in Our Country

Linda Washington Springfield

I was really excited during the Obama presidential campaign. Wow! A Black man running for office. I never thought I would live to see it. I was so excited by my vote, because I knew it made a difference. And, yes, we had our first Black president. That was when I really believed in the system and that my vote mattered. 

President Obama and his wife had to put up with a lot of racism, but through all of it they held their heads up high. He ran this country with dignity and respect. No matter what he had to go through, which I imagined was a lot, he always put the country first, no matter how badly he was being treated. And he did that not for four years, but for eight. The Obamas walked out of the White House with no scandals or blemishes on them. They walked out proudly, knowing he did all he could for the American people.  

My thoughts changed when it was Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump running for office. I was waiting to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her husband Bill Clinton, whom I liked when he was president. If she won, he would also be there to help and guide her. I just knew when I woke up the morning after the election, that we were going to have our first woman president, and I was so excited about that.

But when I woke up and found out that Donald Trump had won, I wondered how a game show host could win the presidency. All I could think about was that the world wasn’t ready for a woman to have so much power. And then I thought it all came down to the rich and powerful “boys’ club” pulling strings to help get Trump into office. It brought me back to when I was younger and what my grandmother would tell me about what happened when she wanted to vote. Women of color couldn’t vote back then, which was a huge disappointment to my grandmother. 

Never stop believing in voting because your vote does matter and could make a big difference in the world.

Racism was really bad then, and it showed its ugly face again when Trump was running for the presidency. We knew racism was out there, but it got even worse during the Trump campaign, when they no longer had to hide their racist attitudes like they did during my grandmother’s time.

Ever since then, I have had a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to politics and voting. These rich and powerful men chose a game show host to run the country, but then they couldn’t control him, and they watched him ruin our country, when he knew about the COVID-19 virus and did nothing. Trump watched many people die from a virus he called a hoax, and he still showed no remorse for the families that lost loved ones. The media was no better when it came to the virus. In my opinion, they ran with whatever former President Trump said. I like President Biden and the second Black person in higher office, Vice President Kamala Harris. It is just sad that they have so much damage to repair.

I really wanted Biden to win office, but I also knew what he was walking into after Trump and his administration. All we could do was pray for this new president and vice president. The former president and the media that was for Trump helped destroy this country, and they thought we were weak and weren’t going to be able to start rebuilding our country again. President Biden didn’t waste any time helping put food on the tables for American families, and preventing people from losing their homes. Now that’s a president we need in the White House!

Never stop believing in voting because your vote does matter and could make a big difference in the world. Your vote does matter. Don’t let the bad taste of the media and the former president stop you from believing. It will take all of us to make a change in our country.

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