OPINION: Vote because you care. Your country deserves it

Grace Heidebrecht, then-senior in psychology, drops her ballot in the ballot box at the Riley County Republican Party Presidential Caucus on March 5, 2016. (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

Political philosopher Russell Kirk once said, “The love of country is nothing more than the love of every man for his wife, child or friend.”

I think this quote could be updated to say that the love of country is nothing more than the love of every person for their family, friends and neighborhood.

Local politics matter. If you don’t believe me, check your next tax bill. Most of that money will be going to the state.

Every time you buy a coffee or complete your grocery haul, you pay a certain amount in sales tax. Decisions on how that money will be spent are made by your state legislators in Topeka.

Think about your high school years. Either you or someone you knew went to the local public high school. The members of the school board may have gone to your church. Maybe one was even your best friend’s mom, or your neighbor.

The way that your local elementary, middle and high schools are run is directly influenced by the school board members, and their activism is held in high regard at the state level.

Who the local sheriff is, where you can buy alcohol, whether or not you can shoot off fireworks on the Fourth of July — all of these decisions are made on a local level.

Like it or not, politics influence our day-to-day lives in some shape or form. What’s exciting is that each of us has the opportunity to shape politics.

Showing up at the polls and selecting our favorite candidate may not seem to have the immediate, large-scale impact we desire, but we know that it does make an impact. The Republican primary for the Kansas governor was decided by a few hundred votes, as were several state representative races. Your vote matters.

Voting is more than just enacting the policies you like. It’s about fully participating in the schema of government under which we live. It’s about expressing our love for country, family, neighbor and friend by caring enough to make one small decision that might just have a large impact.

You’ve got nothing to lose, so go vote!

Olivia Rogers is a community editor for the Collegian, the public relations coordinator for the College Republicans at Kansas State and a junior in political science. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

I’m Olivia Rogers. I graduated with dual degrees in philosophy and political science in May 2020. After I graduated, I went on to attend law school at Notre Dame. While at the Collegian, I served as the community editor for several semesters, working to share the opinions of the K-State student body. I write because: “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle