With members of a major party disowning their Presidential candidate, it is tempting to forgo a trip to the polls this November. After all, this Presidential election has been the ugliest contest in the least inspiring political era in recent memory. Moreover, the bile that has convulsed the race for the White House has trickled down ballot. In this house divided, American political discourse sounds more like a domestic disturbance than a thoughtful debate. It would be easier and more pleasant to just walk away rather than remain in the fray. I urge you to do the latter.
I discussed the consequences of the presidential and down-ballot elections in my last two articles. Having your voice heard, however, is essential for another reason. By voting you will signal to the select few who have bought and sold our government that everyday Americans are waking up and rising up. For several decades, the select few have poured money into national politics. As the few bought electors, policy decisions were made that ignored the needs of the many on critical issues from education to taxes to the environment. The lesson is clear: if you are not paying corrupt politicians, you will pay for political corruption.
In our current political system, everyday Americans do not count. Politicians dupe us to get elected and then serve their donors when they have power. An Establishment Club runs Washington, D.C. In part this is due to our disastrous campaign finance laws, but we the people deserve the real blame. Money amplifies a message, but it cannot capture a mind that is awake and active. If a voter learns about a candidate on her own, she can stand up to the tidal wave of advertising that big money buys at election time. If everyday Americans vet candidates and show up to vote for people rather than parties and for bright ideas rather than bogus brands, the Establishment Club will start to sweat. The money will matter less. It won't stop mattering, but it will matter less and that's a start.
Be your own policy maker. Be your own debate moderator. Be your own fact-checker. And vote. By just getting more people to the polls, everyday Americans will show the elites and every political party from the GOP to the Green that they are awake and are ready to flex their muscles. If we the people just show up, we the people will show politicians that they finally have to pay attention to everyday Americans and deliver on their promises. So register now and tell your friends to register. We the people have the power to take back this country (for real this time), but we have to try.