Strive For 65

The American political system is broken and we the people are to blame. Rather than learning about candidates, we listened to sound bites. Rather than researching the issues, we parroted campaign slogans. Rather than showing up to vote, we complained.

A democracy is only as strong as its weakest link. Hopeless poverty anywhere is a shame to exuberant prosperity everywhere. Calloused injustice in any form is a blight on every form of law and order. A single person's indifference to her responsibilities as a citizen, is a disgrace to our entire citizenry.

Our collective sloth has allowed politicians on both sides of the aisle to sell feelings instead of facts, to peddle charisma instead of competence, and to make promises rather than policy to help everyday Americans. And we fell for it. We fell for it over and over and over again. This collective sin of democratic inaction has left us with a broken government.

Anyone can talk when there are microphones around. Anyone can complain when there are cameras around. Anyone can condemn the ills of the world when there are reporters around. But very few people are doing the right thing when no one is around. We the people need to do the right thing when no one is around and we need to do it now. We the people need to engage with this democracy in any and every way we can. We the people have to educate ourselves about the issues that matter to us. We the people have to show up and vote for the candidates whom we have scrutinized and trust. We the people have to hold our leaders accountable when they pay lip service to everyday Americans while bending over backwards to serve special interests. If the demand exists, the supply will follow.

We are in a very bad place right now as a nation, but we have been in worse places before and we got out of it. We can do it again but we the people have to do it together. So dig into the issues, draw your own conclusions and demand real change from your elected officials. Raise your voice and tell the powers-that-be that from here on out that we the people will be heard.

What if instead of 57 percent of eligible voters casted a ballot for President, 65 percent showed up to the polls? What message would that send to the candidates? If more people showed up to vote, maybe they would try to serve the interests of more people. What if 75 percent of eligible voters showed up? Maybe the candidates would stop catering to the comparatively small groups with extreme views that always show up to vote. What if 85 percent of eligible voters showed up to vote? Maybe politicians would actually address the pressing issues that are threatening the future of our nation, our children and our planet.

In this battle for our democracy, everyday Americans are the underdogs. But everyday Americans don't shrink from a challenge. We didn't shrink from a challenge at Lexington and Concord, we didn't shrink from a challenge at Pearl Harbor and we certainly didn't shrink from a challenge when we put a man on the moon. In this sweet land of liberty, we pursue things not because they are easy but because they are hard.

American history is a history of beating the odds. We should have never won our independence from Great Britain, few thought we could defeat the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany on a battlefield spanning half of the globe and your iPhone has more computing power than the rocket that carried a man to the moon. But we the people beat the odds anyway. The odds of taking this government back are stacked against us but we have to try. We the people owe it our ancestors, we the people owe it to our children and we the people owe it to ourselves. When everyday Americans try, when everyday Americans commit, when everyday Americans fight, everyday Americans succeed. It is not always easy but everyday Americans don't quit. We the people can win this fight but to win this fight we the people have to fight it. So vote. Let's strive for 65 percent participation among eligible voters in this presidential election. We the people can do it. So tell your friends, tell your loved ones, tell that one guy who thinks cynicism is the same thing as style to raise their voices. We the people are the only ones who can restore a government of, by and for the people.