Elections are wonderful things. Bringing the people together to make decisions on how we all move forward together? What’s not to love. In America though, we do find ways to shit all over our democratic spirit. The chorus around Election 2016 being so terrible because of bad candidates and campaign fear mongering is constant. I suppose I could be okay with all the complaining if, after November 8th, I had confidence the people would get back to work participating in the day-to-day governance of our cities, states, and nation. But I’m not, and that’s the problem.
American democracy is divided into 2 big buckets — campaigning and governing. Both buckets require different skills and types of commitment. Generally hate the campaigning part? Don’t want to deal with it at all aside from voting? Fine. Then we better be involved on the governing side. Contacting members of Congress, writing letters to the editor, going to rallies and marches, donating to causes, signing petitions, and so on. We can’t not do both.
To be a citizen means we need to participate in something. To do our job as Americans, we need to know what’s happening at the local and national levels. We have to possess at least as much knowledge as we have of sports or the golden age of television. If not, well, then we don’t get to complain about either the campaigning or the governing. Period.
Obamacare premiums are on the rise. But I don’t think HSAs and buying across state lines will address the fact that everyone has to be involved in Health Care otherwise it’s more expensive than it needs to be. The Senate refuses to hold hearings on the President’s nomination to the Supreme Court. And they say they will block all of Hillary’s which I think is horribly wrong. Donald Trump is quite possibly the worst candidate to run for President ever. He’s a bigot, racist, misogynist, hateful, whiny cry baby. And a liar.
None of these things — health care, the Supreme Court, or Election 2016 — are easy. They are big challenges that require work. Blood, sweat, and tears. But if we want to claim to be a great democracy, we have to participate. If not in the election, then in the governing.
It’s 2016. With all our smarts, our talents, our passion, and our resolve, we need to act like we care about this country we all claim to love. We need to get out there and vote. And then we need to work like hell to make sure Hillary* makes good on her promises and our government generally does its job of working for the American people.
*Updated 11/9/16: Donald. Fuck.