I went to a meeting last night – one of those ‘political’ meetings. I admit it, I actually enjoy being active and informed politically.
I am perplexed about why some people like to get involved and some people don’t. I think this is an important question. I am not talking about whether you vote red or blue, whether you like to share the latest Obama joke or you are appalled by them, I am talking in general terms – why do some people seem to care more about politics than others.
1. Some people will say they are just too busy to get involved. It might be true that some people have a busier life than others. I know for me I was much less active politically when my girls were very young, but even then I tried to watch the news or read the newspaper and I know I dragged a toddler or preschooler to the polls with me, so while that is an excuse, it’s not really the reason.
2. Some people think their vote doesn’t count, and while I understand if you are a democrat in a highly republican district or vice versa, you might think that might be the case, but the election of 2000 taught us that indeed every single vote does count. The presidential election came down to just a few hundred votes. Even more than that – voting is our civic duty in a democracy. It is more than just expressing your opinion, it is participating in the governance of this great country. With all its faults, we have the longest continuing democracy in the world. Our constitution served as a model for so many other countries seeking their independence (don’t get too puffed up – our leaders took most of the ideas for our constitution from the great French enlightenment thinkers who got their ideas from the great thinkers of Ancient Greece).
3. Some people will tell you that they just don’t care, but often these are the same people who will complain non-stop about some aspect of the government (i.e. taxes, laws they disagree with, etc.) so clearly they do care.
4. Some will say that it doesn’t matter because nothing will ever change. These folks are obviously suffering from a short term memory deficit – things may not change completely overnight, but a quick look at history shows us that things do change and they change a great deal, just ask an African American who great grandparents were brought to this country as slaves, just ask a woman who now not only has the right to vote and own property but she runs for office, just ask a child who attends school instead of being forced into child labor. it may not seem like things are changing, but we as a country have changed so much in our 200+ years and there is no doubt we will change even more in the future.
I’m sure there are other reasons that people can come up with, but in reality they are just excuses. We all need to do our part to make this country work, we don’t have to agree, but we MUST get involved and at the very least be informed about issues that affect all of us and be prepared to vote.