3 Things America Must Do During an Election Year
It’s easy to sit around and play armchair quarterback all day long. It’s easy to watch the carnage and think it doesn’t affect you. The hard part is to get your mind and body into the ‘game’ and actually do something about the problems at hand. Too many American’s have simply washed their hands of the political system. The ones I’m referring too are, typically, the over 40 crowd who’s voted only to see their candidate get slaughtered at the polls and walks away thinking ‘my vote doesn’t mean a damn thing, so I give up’. Then you have the 18 to 30 year old crowd who’s too busy slurping their frappuccino and Tweeting where they are in the mall to even know who’s making critical changes on their behalf. This is nothing new. Historically, even in a presidential election year, fewer than 25% of the people make the call for 100% of the nation. But the times, they are a changing. Social media has made it damn near impossible for anyone to keep a secret for very long. Take the Gary Hart scandal back in 1988. Hart, a former U.S. Senator, was up for the Democratic nomination for President. Hart was the front runner, but questions arose about an extramarital affair. A couple of Miami Herald reporters caught a woman named Donna Rice exiting Hart’s DC townhouse. Hart had challenged the media to stake him out. They did and got their paws on a photo of the leggy Miss Rice sitting on Harts lap while aboard a yacht called Monkey Business. It only took a few days and a National Enquirer piece with that photo to torpedo Hart’s rep in the public eye. Today, that process would be reduced to a matter of hours, a day max. America’s short term memories are being challenged by the ever present internet. So, what three things do we Americans need to do to make sure that we get what we need, not just in terms of leadership in Washington, but nation-wide?
1. Study the candidates. Ask questions and get to know whatever you can about them. Don’t just take my word for it, or anyone else for that matter. Do your homework.
2. Put the screws to the politicians. Pressure them on the things that matter. Don’t just complain about it over coffee (or frappuccino’s). Make calls to their offices, email, write letters (yes, that actually does get a bit more attention, or so I am told).
3. Vote. Don’t continue thinking that someone else is going to do it for you. It’s not just everyone else’s problem. It’s yours too.
Apathy on the part of conservatives is partially to blame for the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election. I’ll be the first to admit, the Republican choice wasn’t much better, but could we have possibly done any worse than the current ‘Dear Leader’? I doubt it.