“Get Up, Stand Up”
Posted by purplemary54 on October 30, 2014
You’ll notice I added WordPress’ “I Voted” badge to the site. I really do think voting makes a difference, and it’s the easiest thing any of us can do to effect change.
Of course, that means you also have to pay some attention to what’s going on. You have to educate yourself about the issues facing your community, your state, your country. It’s more than just not changing the channel whenever those endless (and endlessly biased, inaccurate, and enraging) campaign commercials come on. My state election board–and probably yours, too–sends out a voter information guide that contains the various propositions and initiatives on the ballot. These guides are pretty darn helpful if you bother to at least skim them. They contain the text of the proposed law or amendment, what it might mean financially for the state, plus arguments on both sides. I like to look at who’s on each side. Just like I try to find out who’s paying for those irritating commercials. Deep Throat told Bob Woodward to follow the money; that still holds true in politics today.
For example, there’s a proposition on California’s ballot that will let the insurance commissioner have veto power over unreasonable health insurance rate hikes. The insurance companies have been spending beau coups bucks to convince people that that’s a bad idea. Me, I’m not buying it, but I’m afraid a lot of people will be. (We’ll see; I don’t place bets on sporting events and elections for a reason.) The point is, it helps to know who’s got some skin in the game. Democracy is a participatory sport. The only difference is that if you don’t play, you still pay. And, as far as I’m concerned, you don’t get to complain if you don’t vote.
I decided to vote by mail this year, and I applied for permanent vote by mail status. Since they closed down my old elementary school, my polling place is no longer around the corner from me. (This year, it’s being held at the fire station not that far away, but still quite a bit farther than I used to walk.) I’d also pretty much made up my mind on the issues. If you haven’t voted already, get your butt down to your polling place next Tuesday and vote. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.