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Voting in a working democracy
November 8, 2016
Eight years ago, I moved to the US and witnessed the election of Barack Obama — the first African-American President. Emotions were running high that day. I remember the tears rolling down the face of an old black man when Obama was starting his victory speech in Chicago.

It felt like being part of history.

Obama's approval rating is among the highest Election-Day approval ratings in recent history. Under Obama our economy bounced back, unemployment went down, we didn't start any major new wars, and made serious progress towards fighting climate change. There is always room for improvement, but in general, Obama did a great job.

Life did not get better for a significant portion of the population. Not everyone is benefitting from globalization. Some people are left behind. Obama ran on the promise of hope and to unite the Red states and the Blue states. Today, however, we stand more divided than ever. The Internet made it easy for mobs to produce and share extreme views and to self-organize.

The 2016 election has been unusual. America learned how to hate.

The United States is still a country where an immigrant, gold star father like Khizr Khan can speak up against a wealthy Presidential nominee without the fear of being jailed. It's still a country where media can expose controversial tapes without the fear of getting shut down. I was born and raised in a country where the general public and the media doesn't have this luxury.

I couldn't vote in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but I donated whatever I could. Today, I voted for the first time in my life. I voted because democracy works in this country; my vote will count, and my voice will make a dent.

Power, in the United States, is in the hands of the people. I'm confident that the majority of the citizens are going to vote for love, and not hatred.

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Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali is the co-founder of Stacks, bringing apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin. He serves as the CEO of Hiro that is building developer tools for Stacks. He received a PhD in distributed systems from Princeton. → Learn more