Decisions Are Made By Those Who Show Up

My fellow Americans, we have some very important decisions to make tomorrow. Beyond choosing (with the assistance, or not, of the electoral college) who’ll be sitting in the big chair, there are thousands of other races across our great nation which have the potential to affect us, and our friends and neighbors, and the friends and neighbors we haven’t met yet, for generations to come. 

The people we’ve previously elected to represent us in the House and Senate have sworn that they will not do their jobs if we elect (as we likely will) Clinton tomorrow.

Think about that for a second. No matter how you feel about Trump or Clinton, we select our legislators to actually create legislation. It’s right there in the name.

If you’re an employee, as I’m sure most of us are, what would your boss say if you showed up to work tomorrow and declared you were not going to do your job? What if the shoe were on the other foot, and you were the boss facing down an employee who expected to do nothing for ten years*, and still take home a (generous) paycheck?
*Eight years of inertia under Obama, + 2 years under the next president if they win tomorrow.

Americans, for most of us, the times when we get to be the boss are few and far between. We are, without question, the boss of the legislative branch of our government. It’s time we poked our heads out of our offices, looked around, and started cleaning house. That doofus over there by the copy machine who shows up once a week? Out. The guy who’s clearly biding his time until he gets hired by a “think tank” or an internet rag? Out. That jackass who throws a tantrum rather than having a grown-ass conversation? G’bye, jackass.

This extends even further down ticket to your local elections. I know, it’s nearly impossible to try to find out where a local politician stands on anything, (with rare, unicorn-like exceptions) as we’ve all been neck-deep in well-funded campaign ads that tell us exactly nothing about the people they purport to endorse, in lieu of telling us their opponent might be the actual devil.

We’re the boss of them, too, and it’s time we all demanded better.

If you’re planning to vote tomorrow, and I know you are, spend some time tonight Googling your local ballot. Dig through your (likely UX-averse) local government sites until you can find the information you need to make informed choices tomorrow. If you already do this, you’re a superstar, spend a few minutes getting someone who hasn’t had the time or resources up to speed. If it’s relatively simple for you to vote, spend some time making it easier for a friend, neighbor, or loved one who might struggle to get to their polling place.

Beyond tomorrow, there’s so much all of us can do to make our government work for us. We need to encourage more of our bright young people, some of whom may be voting for the first time tomorrow,  to run for local offices, and we need to ensure our press has the freedom to keep us informed of every detail of how our local and national governments are serving us. But at this moment, the one, simple, vitally important thing we can do is show up at the polls tomorrow, ready to loudly, cheerfully, and collectively proclaim that we expect our government to actually govern, or we will ease them of their burden and find someone who wants the job.

Let’s make sure all of our incumbent representatives sleep fitfully tonight, like so many Americans have done, worried about whether or not tomorrow is the day they’ll be let go.

Your vote, and your voice, matter. I believe, with all my heart, that we Americans are capable of reason, empathy, and breathtaking acts of grace. It’s our duty, as citizens and patriots, to make sure that’s the America that speaks tomorrow.

I’ll see you at the polls tomorrow.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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