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I’m tired. I have begged. I have tried to stress the importance of participating in democracy. I have railed against the outrages of the current administration and the complete failure of the legislative branch. I’ve posted funny videos and heart-rending ones.
Democracy depends on an educated, informed, and active electorate. It’s my theory that elected officials work for us. They stay in office as long as they do what we want them to do. They get voted out if they ignore us.
This election, this time, it’s not about them versus us, not red against blue, Democrat against Republican, Pelosi versus Trump, liberal against conservative. This is not a game, not a contest, it’s not Survivor or American Idol. It’s not Alabama against Auburn.
This time, this election is about all of us, this entire country. It’s about the people, not the politicians. Not to be disingenuous, I state here that I am broken-hearted, angry, and determined to do everything I can to put a hold on the current president. But this is not about my standing as an infuriated progressive. It’s not about your fervent support of the president.
If we all vote, we win, not them. We get to say who stays and who goes. If everyone votes, then we control them. I don’t care if you are a Republican, conservative evangelical, white male. I know that if we all vote, then there are more of us than them, the craven politicians, the do-nothings in Congress. We rule, we say what our country is going to be, to stand for, we say what our country won’t tolerate.
In the 2016 election more people did not vote than the number who voted for either Clinton or Trump. More people didn’t vote. If everyone, every single registered voter, participates and votes, then nothing and no one can stop the working of our democracy, not Russian interference, not voter suppression, not gerrymandering, not lies, not PAC money or corporations as people, nothing.
There are more of us than there are of them. More voters than politicians. More votes than lobbyists, more voters than the NRA, more of us. If we all vote, we win. More voters with level heads and good hearts than the ones who follow a personality cult.
There are more minority voters, if you add all minorities together, than there are white voters. More African American, plus Latino, plus LGBTQ, plus Jewish, plus newly registered eighteen to twenty-five year-old voters, more of us than them.
Know which group has never been in power, but is not a minority group? Women. There are more women in this country than men. More women registered to vote than men. So why is Congress made up of mostly old white men? Why do we women keep voting for men who do nothing for us, in fact who do nothing at all?
How many old white men entered Congress young and not wealthy, but are now millionaires? How did they grow so rich working on a Congressional salary? Why does Paul Ryan get to “retire” at age 48 with a lifetime pension? He grew up poor, depended on Social Security, and is leaving Congress with a net worth of several million dollars. How does that happen? How did Mitch McConnell who grew up poor, become a millionaire, net worth around 27 millionaire?
McConnell is 76 years old. Maxine Waters is 80. Orrin Hatch is 84 years old, worth around 4.3 million, Chuck Grassley is 85, net worth 3 million. Nancy Pelosi is 78, with a net worth of around 26 million. Bob Corker, age 66, retiring Senator, 69 million. To be fair, some of these legislators acquired wealth the old fashioned way, before entering politics. it s an annoying and alarming, consistent fact that most of them have not a penny to their names when they enter Congress, and leave with guaranteed pensions and health care that most of us will never see. (See https://opensource.org/)
To recap, if we all vote, we win.