ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • United States Politics

Exercise Your Right to Vote

Updated on February 22, 2013

There are moments in the history of our country that I am not proud of; things that are embarrassing or painful and yet, I am a patriot. I am an American and yes, I do believe this is the best place to live in all the world. Since coming of age, I have never missed the opportunity to vote and I strongly believe that if you do not vote, you have no right to complain. It drives my friends crazy.

In my youth, I thought I was a republican, because my parents were. Later in life, I thought I was a democrat, because I was more of an out-of-the-box thinker. When I became conscious of environmental destruction, I subscribed to the thinking of the green party. Today, I'm just an American.

I am sure that I will draw some criticism for not claiming affiliation with one party or the other. Perhaps I even have my own personal conflict over it as well. I just can't find anything with either party that would make me proud to claim. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of the bickering, finger-pointing, he-said/she-said politics.

People in our country are hurting. They are jobless, homeless, hungry, or, standing on the brink of one or all of them. When I think of the money that will be spent on the 2012 Presidential campaign, it makes me sick. Don't misunderstand me. I do realize it takes money to spread the word. I know you have to spend money to get your message out. But every time I watch the news, I find myself wondering if there isn't a way to reach the people without spending millions upon millions of dollars.

I find myself wondering where all that money comes from. If there are people in our country capable of donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to a campaign, why aren't they helping fund shelters for our homeless veterans or food for soup kitchens? Maybe they are and I just don't see it.

My Irrational Thinking

Oh how I wish I had the answer for turning this madness around. My head tells me that we are smarter than what we are showing the world. My heart tells me that we have gotten so lazy and greedy as a nation that it will take something catastrophic to turn us around. And that scares me.

As I sat here this morning, listen to journalists try to instigate or highlight the ongoing self-slaughter of both political parties, I wondered....what if we had an election and NO ONE showed up? What if we, as patriots, as Americans, said "we've had enough" and just didn't show up at the polls? What if.... literally...no one came to vote? What if we just said "we're not going to play this game anymore"? What then?

Are there provisions in our constitution for the election in which no one voted?

I know this is irrational thinking. Honestly, I do. And yes, I am absolutely sure that it wouldn't happen. It's just my crazy brain trying to wrap itself around a country and political system that has gotten so distorted that it's barely recognizable anymore.

At the rate this Presidential campaign is going, I doubt that any of us will know what the candidates really stand for when we go to vote. We won't have any confidence that anything is going to change, no matter who wins. When all is said and done, none of us are going to win. The past three years have shown us that in spite of who is elected, the party lines in Congress will stall any progress being made, just for the sake of winning.

Accountability

Our energy and efforts are being focused on the wrong branch of government. We have allowed our elected representatives in Congress to run wild. We elect them for whatever reason serves us and then we never hold them accountable for their campaign promises. The average voting American never contacts their Congressional representative about issues they care about. They assume too much, Why should we expect anything from them when they have never seen our face or heard our voice; never read a letter we've written that explains how their actions will affect us?

Our political system has become a good ol' boy system where the issues are only relevant if they affect the ability to climb the political ladder. It's about country clubs and special interest groups and scratching each other's back. The concept of improving the human condition or advancing ourselves technologically to compete in the world has been lost in the madness of power and greed. And, I believe it's time for us to own our contribution to the madness. We have a responsibility to the future generations to hold our elected representatives accountable; to make them hear our concerns and to answer our questions.

We Owe It To Our Children

Our legacy to our children is dependent on the choices we make. If they are going to have a future that guarantees them the freedom to speak their mind, the freedom to choose their religion, the right to work and eat healthy food, we had better stop and think about what we are doing. Our choices will affect the generations to come. What kind of world do you want for your children and grandchildren? If you want a world of opportunity that includes health and wealth for your children, then now is the time to get involved in creating some real necessary change. It's time to take "politics" out of the equation and get back to the roots of democracy.

What can you do?

  • Make a list of the things that concern you.
  • Make a list of questions, things you don't understand about our government policies.
  • Make an appointment with your Congressman or woman AND Senator.
  • Write a letter to your elected officials, ALL OF THEM, and ask them to address your concerns.
  • Call your Congressional or Senate office. They have staff on the payroll to talk to you. Ask them where your representative stands. It is their job to answer your concerns.

And finally, don't stop after the election. Continue to be a voice that won't go away. Maybe if enough of us start demanding accountability, we can have as much impact as this good ol' boy system of politics. Perhaps this can still become the election that stopped the madness.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Great dialogue here. It is very complex. Still, the old values seem more valuable than ever. What really happened to honesty, integrity, fairness, and the like? Simple answer. We put the value of the dollar above it. That's a subject for another day though. Thanks for all the great comments!

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 5 years ago

    @ junko: I agree! The Repubs called for breaking up Ma Bell. They said it would lower prices. What did we get? Lots of little companies with exponential phone bills. Now they are all conglomerating again into gigantic corporations. I worked in broadcasting back when it was governed by regulation. One station's signal could not encroach upon another, political commercials were regulated, I could go on.... Deregulation came along and now you can't get a decent signal except on satellite radio, and political commercials are out of control. Banks, S & Ls, and other financial institutions -- Nuff said. I also have a problem with leaving critical rights up to the states, too. It seems to me like equality and freedom should be nationwide, not just in the states that are broadminded enough to allow it.

  • junko profile image

    junko 5 years ago

    MizBejabbers, I can give you an answer with an equitable solution. The answer is easy to see and understand but would involve political compromise. It is a one word solution that is tabo in this political war against Big Brother-Big Government. The word is Regulations. If the financial lobby were regulated and controlled it would not be possible to become very rich as a law maker. Since the word compromise is also tabo politically speaking, and law makers will have to vote to make less money, maybe it's not a solution, but a thought

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 5 years ago

    What is the answer? I wish somebody knew and could come up with an equitable solution. Sending a message by voting out the incumbents hasn't worked. In order to switch majorities in Congress, the incumbents have to either be voted out or go of their own volition. The Democrats have a policy; the Republicans have a policy. Think about it. Every time one party majority is voted out in Congress and a majority of the other is voted in, it reverts back to the previous dissatisfaction. When the Republicans are a majority and the people are disgruntled, they vote in the Democrats. The Democrats don't please them either, so they vote back in the Republicans. That has gone on so long that the parties seem to be in a death struggle. That hasn't been a solution.

    I am from a state that voted in term limits about a dozen years ago, and it has been a fiasco. After a few years there were no experienced legislators left to train the freshmen coming in because just as a legislator was getting some experience, he or she was term-limited out. It has been our experience that the old guard don’t do nearly as much damage as the newly elected who don’t know how to govern. Government, just the same as anything else, needs an apprenticeship program.

    And the kids: My kids’ generation are now being elected to public office. Where did we go wrong, and how do we fix it? There’s an old saying, “I know what’s wrong with you, your mama didn’t beat you enough when you were growing up.” LOL

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you so much HSchnieder. I really appreciate your comments and completely agree with you. I appreciate the dialogue just as much as I do the compliment.

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    I agree with your sentiments, IRC. There is far too much apathy and complacency in this country. Too many people just follow along and believe everything they hear in campaign commercials without seeking out the facts for themselves. Our citizens need to determine what type of leaders they actually want and then decide which ones fit that model. Maybe then our government and leaders would be responsive to our actual needs and not their own electoral needs. Great Hub.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Junko - thank you for stopping by and for the comment. I am afraid that you are right on the mark. The sad truth is that the underclassed will not vote and could (as the majority) make the difference. There is so much apathy. Far too often I hear the statement "why should I vote, it won't make any difference". And it makes me crazy!

  • junko profile image

    junko 5 years ago

    I don't know if the madness will divide and conquer this system of government and I believe the 2012 election will determine the America's fate. The American people have a choice between two different directions and that choice will effect the majority of people. The majority of Americans are underclassed. The underclass are more likely to not vote, most by choice and many by design. The future of America will be determine by the underclass regardless of the outcome of the election,because the underclass is the majority class.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    ib - thanks for your insightful comment. And I agree with your thoughts on the incumbents. We'll just have to agree to disagree on the children. To be clear though, I don't think we should leave our children "entitled" either. I just personally believe that our actions impact the next seven generations and that we have a responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. I really appreciate the comment.

  • ib radmasters profile image

    ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

    I agree with your ideas and comments in this hub, except for the part about the children.

    Consider that how we got to where we are today, pathetic as it is, we got here from the children that grew up. Several generations of children grew up and they were the ones that failed to participate for moving the country forward.

    The children need to be free thinkers, and not the protected class of their parents and their country.

    As for the list of things to do, the only effective thing is to vote out the incumbents, in total. This would send a message that Congress is not a place to nest, it is a place to accomplish things for the country and the people.

    If we keep not reelecting incumbents, they and their party will get the idea that they don't have our blind vote. It would be a Pavlovian mechanism, that was so effective on dogs. If the dogs could get it, then the equally intelligent politicians should be able to get it.

    Thanks