An Open Letter To The Apathetic American

We must look at this as a true threat to our democracy.

Dear Fellow American,

First of all, I want to say that I get it. You’re over politics, sensationalism by the media, fake news, politicians, promises made but never kept by our leaders. The endless list of frustration and anger on both sides leaves many of you rolling your eyes and shrugging your shoulders. Currently you are busy with shopping lists, holiday parties and the feeling that you are running out of time. The truth is you are running out of time, and now is not the time to be apathetic.

As Americans, we never settle. We fight for what we believe in. It’s sketched beautifully in our Constitution that we have the right to free speech, and peaceful protest. We have grandfathers, and parents, uncles and siblings that have fought, and continue to fight for our freedom. Our freedom is right there, intangible, but inalienable rights.

The truth is you are running out of time, and now is not the time to be apathetic.

I see you Republicans, thwarted by your leaders and a divided party unsure of it’s future. Some of you long for the grand old party of yesteryear, and feel vindicated by a President-elect who says he wants to make America great again. I also see the other Republicans who linger in the same social circles that I do. These Republicans want small government, but have family and friends in the LBGTQ community. They believe in being fiscally conservative, yet don’t want the government making choices for their personal lives.

In talking with my conservative friends, they express their mixed feelings about the future. They didn’t want the woman who lied to them and made misjudgments about her email. They like the fact that the President-elect is a Washington outsider who says exactly what is on his mind. At the same time, they express concerns over dinner about his ties with Russia, and his past encounters with women.

I see you Democrats, shaken and numb. You didn’t see this coming, you didn’t think he had a chance at winning. Many of you are still grieving, while some from the other side call you ‘entitled brats’ who should just get over it. In the days and weeks following the election, many of you protested. You argued that she won, and questioning just how democratic our voting process really is after all.

My democratic friends talked about leaving the country, marching in protests on inauguration day and finding loopholes to keep their same-sex marriages, health care that is being threatened to be taken away, single-mothers who don’t know what will happen when Trump’s tax changes go into effect and they have to pay more.

I see you Independents, shaking your head in disbelief on both sides. You tell me it’s time to give up a two-party system. Our democracy just won’t work with division in a progressive world. You feel defeated by a system working against you. You’ve been through election after election trying to make your voice heard by voting for Republicans and Democrats, third-party candidates and the Green Party.

What I see is all of you giving up. Republicans are done defending themselves to people who call them racist. Democrats desperately want to see a cabinet that is a diverse as their neighborhood, but feel outnumbered by those in leadership.

When we are together I encourage you not to give up. Now is not the time to be apathetic. It’s not the time to sit back and let things fall where they will. You yell in your echo chambers for change, and you hear exactly what you want to hear, which is you are right. We’ve become so consumed by ‘being right’ that we lose friendships, and lines are drawn in the sand between family members.

We've become so consumed by 'being right' that we lose friendships, and lines are drawn in the sand between family members.

For the first time in American history, our election was hacked by foreign entities. This is devastating to our democratic process. We have leaders on both sides of the aisle fighting for us, for our vote. I see you distracting yourself with social media, work, family... busyness.

Even if your candidate won, this should concern you. It’s Russia today, but who is it tomorrow? If we are apathetic now, our future looks grim. It was apathy that caused people to look the other way when people of color were slaves. It was apathy that caused wars like Vietnam and Desert Storm. Apathetic people didn’t stand up for their homosexual friends and family, which led to decades of lives not being lived.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Now is not the time to be submissive, distracted or defeated. It’s up to us to change the course of what went wrong this election season. We must get active this holiday season. Active on the phones with our political leadership. Active with our political parties. Actively listening to one another, instead of just waiting to make your point.

I know you are scared. You’ve told me how scared you are, but you can’t let that fear paralyze you from action. There is too much at stake. If a Russian government doesn’t scare you, I encourage you to do some research. You may not agree with how homosexuals live their lives, but do we really want to be in bed with people who fine you for ‘pro-gay’ propaganda? A country that silences its own media, where Christians cannot profess their faith if it goes against the universal church.

You've told me how scared you are, but you can't let that fear paralyze you from action.

This is the Russia the media isn’t talking about, but it’s alive and well. And now it’s butting its nose into our democracy. Why is that? Why now? Have you thought about why that might be? Perhaps it’s technology catching up with the times. Or perhaps it’s the fact that the man who got elected as our next president has openly talked about his affection for Vladimir Putin.

In closing, I want to say to fellow Americans we must look at this as a true threat to our democracy. And it’s not up to the John McCains of the world to be alone in righting this wrong. We have plenty of holiday seasons ahead to be distracted by consumerism and partying. We didn’t get it right this election season, therefore we need to be focused this holiday season.

How you can make a difference today:

-Call or email your state representatives and express your concerns

-Get involved with your political party, and STAY ACTIVE

-Let our current President know you want him to fight for our freedom before he leaves office

-Read everything you can! If you are liberal, visit the Fox News website. If you are conservative, check out MSNBC.

-Engage in conversations with people who think differently than yourself. Actively listen to their point of view, and find a way to find common ground.

Wishing you and your family a bright future with all the freedom we deserve this holiday season!

Sincerely,

Your fellow American

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