Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gratituesday: Take ownership

I am a huge fan of democracy.
As a red blooded American, I believe we are the luckiest people in the world to live in our amazing country. We enjoy so many freedoms that we take for granted, such as driving, watching free speech television (Fox News and The Daily Show owe a huge thanks to democracy), banking, living where we choose...the list goes on and on.

We owe all of this to one of our greatest and most ignored freedoms. 
The freedom to vote.
In a society where there are television shows dedicated to politics and politicians,  and how the job of running the country is getting done, you would think everyone would exercise their right to pick who represents their interests.
Yet only 40% of the eligible voting population voted  in the last election.
 That turnout was a record turnout, highest in 4 decades. 

Shame on us. 
Voting allows us to have a voice, to take ownership if you will. 

When we own something, we take care of it. We have it maintained, check ups are involved, if something is broken we have it fixed. 

That is what is wrong with our country. We are renting the space. 
60% of eligible adults are neglecting the freedom that allows all of the others to be enjoyed.
The argument is nothing ever changes. Well, nothing will when over half the population doesn't give a damn if anything ever does.
It's really easy to find something you care about, even if it is trivial. The fact is nothing is trivial, it all matters. Find what affects you, figure out who sees the issue the same way you do, and vote.
 For instance, Want the soda size regulated so that people will make better choices and hopefully  not guzzle 32 oz. Big Gulps, sending healthcare costs up? Vote.Want everyone to be able to get semi-automatic weapons? Vote. Want to preserve our country by getting off the oil dependency that has put our country in bed with terrorists for the last 40 years? Vote. Want deregulation of everything, including seat belt wearing, speed limits, drinking age, pot smoking, garbage dumping, stock trading, dog fighting...? Vote.
The act of voting is both selfish and selfless. You become a voice and lend yours to another, at the same time, enabling you to feel good about being selfish.

I started voting as soon as I could. I vote in most of  my elections, including local. 
I have many frustrations at the way our government is being run and I look for whomever is going to serve my agenda and vote for them. If they don't serve me, I vote for someone else whom I think will.
Very selfish, but it is my duty as an American citizen  to exercise that particular freedom. But I am so grateful that I have the ability ( as of 1920 for women like me) to vote and to make my voice heard in my beloved country.
So, my gratitude this week is also my soap box. 
Get off your damn lazy asses, America and go vote.
South African voters after the end of apartheid

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