A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nightmares and elections.

My daughter came into my room at 4:30 this morning. "Daddy I had a bad dream and I don't want to go back to sleep." "C'mon, honey I'll walk you back, tuck you in and start your music." "Daddy, it was a really bad dream and it keeps coming back." "Sweetie, you know it's just a dream and Mommy and I are just down the hall." "I know Daddy, but it's really scary and I don't want to dream it again."  "I know it must be scary, but think good thoughts and maybe the dream won't come back." "Okay, Daddy I'll try."  As I tucked her in, I thought, "Wow, I'm having the same problem, but we don't let the kids watch campaign coverage."

The mid-term election is just a few days away and has scary implications. Putting aside partisan philosophy, I want to share a thought all sides can agree on.  Government, especially in Washington is unresponsive and rarely does an adequate job of addressing public needs. Our elected officials vote to better themselves and are corrupt because of gobs of money from lobbyists and special interests.  There's little difference between the candidates and I don't trust them.

Why should Governors, Representatives, Senators, etc. act on behalf of the public? Creating good policy is part of the job description but the populace does not monitor government. Election turnout the last 50 years is no higher than 63% for a presidential election and 48% for a midterm election. The best case scenario is over 1/3 of the voters don't care enough to vote. Why shouldn't politicians vote for themselves, we're not watching.

I realize it's not that simple. The entire system of campaign finance needs to be overhauled. The first step is to show politicians that we are watching. A turnout over 70% no matter the results, sends the message we are all watching. That will begin the turnaround and government will again be for the people.

The action plan is straightforward. Vote, tell everyone you are voting and encourage everyone to vote. Should someone suggest voting is a personal decision, explain why they are wrong. When someone doesn't vote they screw up their chance at a better America (they're choice) but they also screw up my chance at a better America. That is unacceptable.  Better government begins with me and then with you.

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