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We The People Will Not Throw Away Our Shot

Much like the hit musical Hamilton states, “(We) are not throwing away (our) shot.” We the People will not and cannot throw away our opportunity to get President Donald Trump out of office. 

If night one of the Democratic National Convention taught us anything, it’s that now is the time for unity. Speakers like Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, former Democratic nominees and candidates, and a number of “average Americans” came together to promote the idea of truly united states by defeating President Trump and ushering in Joe Biden. 

In recent elections, the Democratic Party has been known for its internal division. That played a big role in the outcome of the 2016 election and is something that still plagues the party today. Now is the time to focus on coming together for the good of the country.

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, said “Trump didn’t create division, division created Trump.” He’s right. Trump didn’t create it, but he provided a platform for hate and division. He both gave permission for and celebrated division.

That’s why Bernie Sanders said the election “is the most important in the modern history of this country.” We need to salvage the idea of a united United States of America. We have to stand together when faced with injustice and seek answers for all people. Not just people who happen to look like us or live like us.

Growing up in the United Methodist Church, my faith is something that has always steered my ideals and beliefs. When I find myself torn about what is going on in life and our current political world, I often ask myself the wristband phrase, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? It sounds silly, I know, but given that so many Christians are Republican, I begin to struggle and doubt myself when it comes to my perception of Jesus. If we are reading the same book and praying to the same God, how can our fundamental ideals be so different? Jesus preached good news to the poor, proclaimed release to the captives, recovered sight to the blind, set liberty for those who were oppressed, he healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. To me, being a Christian, I feel as though I have a rule book. Right now, to vote Republican, is like holding it upside down, lighting it on fire and denying it ever existed.

The final speaker of night one, former First Lady Michelle Obama, said, “We have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.” 

I not only encourage you to vote like your life depends on it, but I encourage you to take a step back and look at your community and the people around you. 
I encourage you to vote like your neighbor’s life depends on it. 

Vote like your nail technician’s life depends on it.
Vote like your Post Office worker’s life depends on it.
Vote like your school janitor’s life depends on it. 
Vote like your taxi drivers’ life depends on it.
At the end of the day it does. 

What you do and how you vote in this election matters. Vote for change. Keep pushing to dismantle systems of oppression. Keep pushing for unity over division. In other words, don’t throw away your shot.

Marlee Claes is a 16 year-old high school junior from Central Texas.

Editors Note: Occasionally, Onward Texas brings in contributors to help shape conversation, bring in alternative perspectives and elevate Progressive dialogue.This article was written by an Onward Texas contributor and all opinions and expressions are their own.

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