I don’t like to get political on my blog or my social media very often. And by political, I mean weighing specifically on candidates or bills or anything more specific than broad issues and current events. Frankly, I just don’t feel all that qualified to speak on politics. I’m just a registered voter and informed media consumer (at least I like to think so). I’d rather just sit back and listen to and amplify those who know more than me. But sometimes, an issue is just so important that I feel I have to weigh in and add my two cents to the vast ocean of opinions, in the hopes that maybe it’ll be of some value to those who do hear it. Maybe that’s self-serving of me, and I do get a catharsis sometimes, but tonight is one of those nights.
Look, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that this year has sucked. It’s sucked in a lot of different ways for a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. It’s been a culmination of a whole host of complex issues that have been festering in this country, all coming to a head at once. Healthcare, police brutality, racism, climate change – everything that was real but felt comfortably distant for some sectors of the US suddenly became a lot more pressing for a lot more people. And, they are issues that we’re going to have to continue to address as a society, regardless of who gets elected in November.
I’m going to end this with a call to action, but not the traditional one. I’m going to ask you to look around. Look at your community, your friends, your family, your neighbors. Look at the people who have been hurt this year, who have lost loved ones, who have lost jobs, who have lost opportunities to love and live. Look at the people who have felt scared and angry and despaired over what the next day might bring. I’m one of those people and there’s a decent chance that you might be, too.
Look around at everything and then look at your ballot. And don’t just read for the little R or D next to someone’s name, but look at that ballot and what each person stands for. Then vote for the person who you believe, genuinely believe, in your deepest soul, is going to make things better. And not just better for you, but better for your friends, your neighbors, your community. Vote for the people who are going to make things better.
Things aren’t going to magically switch on Election Night or New Year’s Eve or Inauguration Day and get better. It’s going to be work. Hard work. And, to be honest, it’s not going to be a pretty election, so prepare for that. It’s been hard to hope this year, to find some reason to keep looking forward to the next morning. But we can do better as a nation. I hope, with the strange amount of hope that I seem to still have, that that first step comes this Election Day, and that it is the first of a journey that actually makes this country a place where everyone is equal.