Elections have consequences. Whether we admit it or not, all politics are local. From the top on down, and from the bottom, up, it affects our lives. We must hold all of our elected officials accountable for the decisions that they make in our name.
And that is part of the problem. While upwards of sixty percent of the population is willing to participate in a national election, less than forty percent of the population is choosing the people that are actually running the country, the House and the Senate.
Most people in this country can’t even identify who their Senator or Congressperson is. Most will keep electing the same people over and over again in the belief that it’s not their Senator or Congressperson who may be part of the problem in Washington.
Then, when there is a huge problem in Washington, such as the current governmental shutdown and fight over the debt ceiling, there is a mass cry about “throwing them all out!” And once again, when comes time to vote them all out, in a year, all will be forgiven, and the same faces will return to Washington, only to do it again.
All politics is local. Your Congressperson represents your district. Your area of your state. It is his/her job to take your concerns and the concerns of your neighbors to Washington. To work, within the framework of the Constitution, and with the others in the House, for the betterment of everyone, but keeping in mind what is best for his/her district… for YOU. Congressmen/women seem to have forgotten this mandate. They get to Washington, see the money, the power and the influence, and forget why they were sent there by their friends and neighbors. In which case, they need to be voted out of office. Brought home.
Senators are sent to Washington to represent the entire state. They are there to advocate for everyone in their state, for the betterment of the state and of the nation, within the framework of the Constitution.
It is our job to choose the best people to represent us. We do this through elections. But is we don’t vote, and then our elected officials are chosen by others. By people who may have other agendas, other political views and different cares and ideas than we do. We get the government that, to put it bluntly, we deserve.
It is our apathy, after the 2008 presidential election that brought us the divided government that we are enjoying today. In 2010, forty-one percent of the population turned out to vote, and those that did, got to decide the new voting districts.
So the question really becomes, do you like what you are seeing in Washington? Is this something that you are proud of? Or do you think that our politicians are capable of something better?
If you think the latter, then there is only one solution: make sure that you are registered to vote in your state. Make sure that everyone that you know is registered to vote. Make sure that you all make it to the polls, and vote. Stay in the lines, because they can’t close the polls until everyone there has voted.
Vote in every single local (from mayor to dog catcher), state (state legislator and governor), and every other election that comes along.
This is your civil duty. This is one of your fundamental rights as a citizen of this country. And… because all politics are local.