Politics has always been a game to most of the politicians that play in the arena. Since the 2nd term of Bush Jr. I think it is gotten worse. The last 6 years have definitely been a turf war of epic proportions and the people who get hurt are the American People. Whether it is health care, taxes, environment, reproductive rights—it seems our politics are getting divided to the point that the only way to prove a point is to actively want the other way to fail. I don’t see how that is good for any of us.
Now before you think I am talking about the Republicans actively wanting the Affordable Care Act to implode so they can say “see I told you” instead of fixing the parts that would make it affordable–you are wrong. I am also talking about the Democrats who stall confirmations just because (wrong or right) their pick didn’t get a confirmation hearing. I don’t particularly like Judge G but he is qualified. More importantly, he is not the worst one that could be up there. It seems like the game of chess being played in Washington is being played without concern of fallout.
There are very few politicians right now that I think are in it for the people. I can list maybe 10 (and that is with a few maybes). Do you know where the fault lies in that though? With us the voting constituents. We don’t have a lot of power but usually every 2 years we can make our voice heard. However, it has been proven that in non-presidential election cycles that turn out is dismal. It is even worse on a local level (where most politicians get their start). We don’t hold them accountable. I hear more and more often: I voted for the better of the two worse evils. Our system is broken when that becomes the norm instead of the exception.
So what do we do?
Most Important: register to vote and then VOTE. If you don’t do anything more than that–it is OK. Just research each person running and don’t pay attention to what party they are from. Look for where they stand, not at the negative stuff they are saying about their opponent. Misdirection is a thing and we have to be smarter than that. If there is an uncontested position write to the district/county/state and ask why? I hate uncontested votes to the point that I will not for the person there. They have zero incentive to do their job if no one is pushing them to do better by running against them.
Talk to people with different views than you! Seriously, we need to have more across the divide conversations. You don’t have to agree but compromise can only come from understanding an opposing POV. Some issues will never have a middle ground but things like taxes, health care, individual freedoms often have a middle ground.
If you go to a town hall or participate in a call in town hall. Ask the tough questions, give them a chance to answer, and then follow-up with the points that you don’t understand, agree with. It is hard to dialogue with politicians but we have to try. If they aren’t listening, then make your voice heard at the voting booth or better yet stump for the person you think will do the job better. Truth is no matter how long the person has been incumbent, they can lose. Don’t let them think they get the job by default!
Get fed up! Washington is supposed to work for all of us and currently I feel like they are increasingly working for themselves. Instead of doing their job, they are looking towards reelections and kick backs. The only people who can stop that is us the voters. So with some elections and voting registration deadlines coming up for 2017 elections–make sure you get/verify your voting rights. Let’s make politicians work for us!
During her off time, you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.
She also blogs at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog) and Mess to Best).
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