Disclaimer - This was to be yesterday's post, but for some reason it did not post as intended. I thought it was still relevant though. I went to the polls yesterday to vote around noon. I was voter #36. Thirty-six! Really- I know some people don't take local elections seriously but I would have hoped that in the five hours the polls had been open more than 35 people would have showed up. These are the local officials making changes in our cities and schools. We ought to care about that.
There was a time when voting was considered a radical act, when the suffragists marched, demanding that they had their own voice, that they were able to speak for themselves. There was a time when women walked to that ballot box, slipped in their ballot, BEAMING that they stood for their own convictions, that they chose for themselves.
That time is no longer.
Voting has normalized. We walk up to the election officials, we hand over our id’s, we enter the ballot box and we do what we do. We vote. There is nothing radical about it. It is our civic duty. We simply walk up to the ballot box and choose. I so am grateful that we no longer have to fight that fight, so happy that it is no longer considered radical act to vote.
Except the majority of us have become complacent. The majority of us take that earned right for granted. There are the multitude of voices and 24 hour news cycle and negativity and distrust. We have simply given up and given in.
We have given in to the notion that we lose no matter for whom we vote. We have given in to the idea that votes are bought and sold to the highest bidder. We have resigned ourselves to the idea that we are at war with ourselves and we best stand out of the crossfire. So we sit back and check out of the process. We don’t vote, we don’t write or meet with our congressmen and women. We don’t use our power to make a difference.
OUR power. The constitution of the United States gives the power to the people. It gives us the power to vote and choose. It states that the representatives of the United States represent US. We have let the voices of the few speak for the voices of the many. We have the power to take that back.
We hold the representatives accountable to their constituents, not to whoever they have in their pocket.
This may seem idealistic. It may seem like fighting a losing battle - it's all unicorns, rainbows and pots of gold. But, I assure you, it is not. It is hard work, and determination, and working together for a change. If we don’t start, we will never make inroads, and things will remain the same.
And we can not afford that.
So today, take it back. Take back that once radical act, and start the change. Use your voice. Use your power.