By: Christine Feghali
The biggest problem facing the Armenian community today is apathy. A majority of the Armenians today are too consumed with what kind of car they drive, how their hair looks, and what brands they are wearing to keep up with what is going on in the world. Too many of the Armenian youth do not know where Artsakh is, how to speak Armenian, who Erdogan is, what Hye Tahd is, or what the purpose of voting is.
This needs to change.
The apathy has become more apparent than ever over the past week. As interns, we attended the Homenetmen Navasartian Festival with the goal to register as many Armenian voters as possible. November 6th, 2012 is a huge opportunity for the Armenian community; if we were to all come together in solidarity and project our voice, we could elect the pro-Armenian candidates that are working for our cause. We can ensure that we have officials who are working towards our best interests by promoting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and by encouraging the United States to stop supporting Turkey and Azerbaijan.
One would think that this is enough to convince not only the Armenian youth, but also Armenians of all ages to register to vote. But it’s not. There were too many people who said they don’t care about voting, or that they don’t believe in voting, or that they don’t support the governmental system, or that they’ve never voted and they never want to, or that their vote doesn’t count. This is a HUGE problem. If everyone has this mentality, our voice becomes nonexistent and becomes less powerful. As a community, we need to realize that our numbers are small compared to the number of people in the country or even the state. The important thing to keep in mind is that we make up a large proportion of certain local districts and if we all register and vote for the pro-Armenian candidates, we can have a large impact on the future of our community.
Robert M. Hutchins stated, “…the death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” If we don’t stop being apathetic and don’t start being active in politics, we can forget about Hye Tahd. We can forget about having the Armenian voice heard. We cannot get what we want without the help of people in high places. We are too small a group to be apathetic.
What we need is for more people to realize the potential of the our Armenian community. Potential means nothing unless it’s realized, so it’s time to stop being idle, stop being apathetic, and start being active.
If you haven’t already registered to vote, click on the link below and follow the instructions. Take two minutes to register and become a part of an election that can positively impact your Armenian community!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Zara’s post about her experiences with registering people to vote at Navasartians!