Let’s Talk: Why do you Vote? What does it mean to you?

So if you’ve attended UVA you know the joke- we are all part of the “Cult of Jefferson”. We walk around our Academical Village talking about Honor and Civility. We talk about Mr. Jefferson as if he’s going to show up for a spot inspection.

Yet the greatest legacy Jefferson left us isn’t our beloved UVA- it is what we can all do on November 6th, 2012. Vote. Participate. Make our voices heard.

I’m a PhD student in the Politics Department so thinking theoretically (and teaching) about the meaning of political institutions is part of my job description. The so-called “minimalist” idea of what differentiates a democracy from a dictatorship is the presence of competitive elections.

Even though our country may feel deeply divided at times (although arguably it doesn’t hold a candle to the Jefferson and Adams infighting!) we all come together on the first Tuesday of the eleventh month to reaffirm this differentiation and our value for Jeffersonian democracy.

So talk to me: Why do you vote? What does it mean to you? Do you encourage others to vote?

Post a comment either on the TJs UVA Facebook page, via Twitter @TJsUVA, or om the comments section underneath this blog post.

Just a note- this is not a space for politicking.

This is a place to talk about why you turn up to the polls- why you invest the time and energy to participate in this exercise. I will not approve comments talking about the specific issues of this election. There are tons of other places to talk about that. The beauty of UVA is that we come together behind Values and Principles — more “cult of Jefferson” terms! So let’s talk about those!!

–Suzie McCarthy


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