Bakari Sellers, a lawyer, author and political pundit, told viewers of the Word In Black – Vote for A Purpose event on Tuesday that the General Election on Nov. 3 will be a defining moment determined by Americans who will make one of three choices. He said voters will either decide to reelect President Donald Trump, vote to replace him with Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, or choose neither and instead elect to sink deeper into the living room couch. The comment didn’t muster a smile, let alone a laugh by the panelists of the hour-long Facebook Live broadcast because Sellers was speaking the truth. Despite the massive Get Out the Vote movement aimed at motivating everyone to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election, many will opt-out, deciding instead to sit on the couch and pretend their decision won’t have an impact on the outcome of this election.
Leigh Chapman, voting rights director at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, told viewers that to date, 35 million people have voted across the U.S., compared to one million Americans who had voted by this time four years ago. The numbers prove that even the most enthusiastic couch potatoes are too uncomfortable with the status quo and are deciding not to wait but to vote in the most crucial and historic election in recent U.S. history.
Efforts to encourage every segment of the U.S. population are proving successful as those going to the polls also include younger voters that many worried about whether they would be active participants in this year’s election. Their participation is evidence of the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement and the campaign that launched the March for Our Lives movement to end gun violence. Each inspired a generation of young leaders to vote and become the changemakers they are seeking by running for elected office, as well.
The outcome of the presidential race will not be measured by the numbers of mask-less supporters gathered closely together at rallies while waving flags and banners. Instead, it is the historic numbers of those who want to be counted while standing in the long voting lines, sometimes for hours, to ensure their voices are heard. When it’s all said and done, then they can return to their couch and smile, knowing their vote made a difference.
Get off of your couch and vote!