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Exercise Your Right to Vote
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.
- Should We Feed Them or Teach Them To Fish?
Are we going to teach Americans how to fish or keep feeding them? An old Chinese Proverb tells us that if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. What will it take for our policy makers to see that?
- Politics: Presidential Elections and the Media
Politics drive me nuts and yet I am fascinated by the process of elections. Are we we being brainwashed by mainstream media? Owned by very wealthy people, media has enormous influence on elections.
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.
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.
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