I am so fortunate to be visiting the northern Michigan area this week. I had a get together with some of my brothers and it was fun. Thankfully, I am sitting in front of this view and can keep my head clear of all negative thoughts.
I was the only liberal person at the party Sunday night. One of my brothers actually thinks that Democrats are the root of all that is seemingly evil in our society. To him it seems that it is Democratic policies that destroy cities and lead to the destruction of our nation. He sees Democrats as not wanting to work. I thought that was a broad brush to paint people with and rather narrow minded.
I grew up in a FDR Democratic family. It’s a wonder that these brothers grew up with the same parents that I had. My parents would never agree with my brothers, not by a long shot. Like our nation, my family is deeply divided by politics, religion, and basic world views. I think politics in general tends to divide families especially in the last twenty years or so. The right wing ideology of bible thumping Christianity scares the hell out of the free thinking left ideology. For the most part, I believe in tolerance of other peoples’ ideas, unless it infringes on my life and my freedoms. I don’t want religious zealots creating policy for our country and especially for women’s reproductive health. Regardless of how I feel, it has made me realize that it is up to the people of this country to start making the real decisions and not leaving it up to the imperfect and bought politicians.
There are two things that I think are essential to being a true and devoted citizen of our nation. These are to become educated and to vote. If you aren’t voting, you need to start. We have really only our vote as a check and balance to keep those in government on their toes. It is so obvious across this nation this year that there are many things being done to prevent certain groups of people from voting. This tells me that our votes must really be precious.
Recently, there was an editorial in our local paper, the Sturgis Journal, in which the writer was appalled at the lack of people voting in the August election. I did vote but I find it a bit frustrating as I live in a Republican area. What I am noticing is many of the local offices have people that run unopposed. Either the Democrats feel it is a lost cause, it is too expensive to put together a campaign, both of these or something else is going on. I also saw where some representatives want to repeal the 17th amendment which would mean that we would no longer vote for our senators to represent us in Congress. That is unbelievable to me. We must vote people or maybe they will start taking that vote away. Yes, I know what you may be thinking…There seems to be no difference between the two parties these days. I’ve said it myself. However, that is not totally true. One is way right and one is a bit right. Lefties have the Green Party but in our two party system; it really leaves a lot of people out in the cold on making a statement with their vote. I think this is why many don’t bother voting. They don’t feel they have a real choice; they only have bad candidates and then there is worse. It is frustrating I know but we must do our part and vote or soon we may not have the right.
Look at it this way. If so many people are trying to limit voting it must be something special. Regardless of how you vote, if you are of voting age, I hope you do vote. I remember how excited I was the first time I voted. I felt really great taking part in our government. I grew up with political discussions about everything from the Kennedys to the Vietnam War. To me voting was a great privilege. I have always voted and probably always will vote. When I moved to Oklahoma, I participated in a Caucus. It was interesting. Politics has always been interesting to me. What most people don’t seem to understand is politics and those political decisions do have an effect on your life. Politics affects everything from the minimum wage to education, and even the draft. If you don’t get involved and vote you are leaving the decisions to other people that may or may not have your best interests in mind as they do their job in government. So this November become a participating member of our nation. Get educated about the issues so you truly understand the consequences of your voting decisions and then VOTE!