So you say politics bores you, or you don’t want people to know how you feel about issues. Unfortunately, failing to stand up for what you believe sends just as loud of a statement as does standing up. Refusing to get involved says loudly and clearly that you support the status quo or even worse, retreating from where we are today.
Think about the country we live in today. Is it what you want for your children? Is it what you want for your grandchildren? Are the elderly being treated as they should be? What about veterans? Do you believe schools are able to prepare our young for a world they will be leading soon enough? How about the environment – are you willing to stand by and watch it deteriorate? What about guns – do you want everyone on the street packing and ready to kill at any slight?
Those on the right and in such fringe groups as the Tea Party will be voting. They have learned that lesson in a big way. They know that if they turn out and vote they will be listened to. They also know that if you don’t vote that is just as good as a vote for them. Why else do you think that Republicans across the country have been working so hard to suppress the vote of people who would most likely vote Democratic. Do you believe they are doing it for the good of the country? Be sure to count our own Secretary of State Matt Schultz among that crowd. He has been doing his damnedest to keep the vote down.
Every vote that is suppressed, every voter that does not exercise their rights is another vote they don’t have to match. If enough of us are stopped or don’t vote the more likely Republicans will win. In Iowa and across the country we are now on the cusp of losing some very important government services and protections. You not voting will help that happen.
What is at stake? Let’s start in Iowa. Terry Branstad has been champing at the bit to be another Scott Walker. He would love nothing more than to bust public unions. He would love to get out of the Medicaid portion of the ACA. In short he would love to turn Iowa into another Wisconsin or Florida or Michigan. There is nothing that has ordained that Branstad be governor for life. That thought should scare you. Should a Branstad die in office Iowa gets the ultra-right wing Kim Reynolds as governor. If you do not vote, that nightmare may come true.
On a local level keeping at least the Iowa Senate in democratic hands is extremely important. They have been the one brake on a runaway Branstad. Just in case Jack Hatch doesn’t defeat Branstad, it will be a good idea to keep the senate in Democratic hands or Iowa may soon have a “Stand Your Ground” law.
When we look at the races for national seats, we must ask many of the questions I stated above. Is it not worth a few moments of your time to get registered and request an absentee ballot so that you make sure you get your vote in. Or perhaps you can take a few moments to stop by the county auditor’s office to vote. If neither of those is possible, plan now to make sure you allow some time on Nov. 4th to vote.
Are you satisfied with a country whose government is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich? The Occupy movement a couple years ago showed us that if we band together we can win. By “we” I mean those who stand for opportunity and justice for all.
Are you satisfied with those in congress who cut food stamps for those who need help, who cut benefits for our veterans, who make it profitable for the wealthy to send jobs out of America, who want to cut advances in health care, who stifle learning for our young? It is time for a new New Deal. But as Howard Dean, John Edwards and many others have reminded us, that can only be done by uniting and standing up and putting the power of the government back in the hands where it belongs, in the hands of the common citizen.
But it is up to you to make it happen!