Wednesday, August 18, 2010


When was the last time you voted?

If you have to think back, check your calendar and scratch your head, shame on you.

Right now, you should be aware when your next election is and at least conversationally aware of what is one the ballot.  By the time that election rolls around, you should have enough information from the non-partisan League of Women Voters to make an informed decision and be ready to step into the polling booth.

If you are not, maybe you should live someplace where there are no elections, where you do not choose your representatives, where you have no choice as to what is in your state or nation's constitution.

If you think elections are unimportant or you can't be bothered, perhaps you can trade places with the people who will walk miles to their polling location in the pre-dawn hours so they can cast their ballots.

If you think your vote doesn't count, think about the 2000 presidential election, where the race was so close people were examining ballots with magnifying glasses.

And if you truly think a democratic republic can take care of itself without your help, maybe you can tell that to the women of the Lorton Reformatory, who were arrested for protesting in front of the White House in 1917 and tortured in prison for months — all because they were wacky enough to think that maybe women deserved to be able to vote in all states, not just Wyoming.

In the United States, we underestimate our importance in the process.  We surrender our power to people who live their careers finding ways to funnel obscene amounts of money to their states to pacify us into re-electing them and who write laws not even they can read.

Maybe if we were less passive, if we expected nothing short of fair representation from our elected officials and held them to that standard, then we could get the government we want, rather than settle for the government we deserve.

Maybe casting a ballot is a good first step to building the City on a Hill our founding leaders envisioned.

No comments: