The Nov. 2 election is just two weeks away and each of us has a choice. We can either vote or stay home, but with either choice we send a message. Voting expresses your opinion and shows interest in your future. Not voting, however, is tantamount to saying you don’t care, that either choice is as good as the other. If common every day citizens don’t demonstrate interest through voting, we run the risk of extremists or flawed candidates winning the day. Without voting, we leave it to others to make important decisions.

Congress passed many bills last session (including the TARP, the stimulus, Cash for Clunkers, the Health Care bill, and Cap and Trade) that will greatly affect our lives. TARP and the stimulus both hugely impacted the economic climate and could have saved us from a second great depression (we will never know how bad it could have been), but each came with a large price tag that will need to be paid down eventually. Cash for Clunkers allowed thousands of people to upgrade their automobiles, making the American roads safer and more fuel-efficient. The Health Care bill and Cap and Trade could drastically change each of their respected industries. These issues matter and will change our lives.

We are not without choice though. On the issues presented in this election, a clear distinction between the two parties exists. Real choice is before us. With our vote, we express whether Democratic policies like the Health Care bill should continue and whether Cap and Trade should be instituted. With our vote, we can indicate our preference between the cutting the budget or cutting education. We can stand up and make a choice or we can sit on the sidelines and accept whichever outcome happens. As for me, I don’t want to be a bench warmer. I choose to play the game.