By now, folks who’ve read any of this blog know I love quotations. And here is one that is painfully true right now. “We get the government we deserve.” So wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, way back when, in his study of “Democracy in America.”
“Wait a minute here,” some would say. “What did I ever do to deserve a Congress that has sold its birthright, to individual members of Congress (both houses, both parties) who spew garbage about each other and apparently do not, for the most part, know up from down?
Well, here’s the thing. Every eligible citizen needs to be registered to vote, and then they need become informed, and then they need to vote. Of course it is very hard to know the candidates, but thanks to the Internet and some excellent programs such as “Up with Chris Hayes”, on MSNBC on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and news magazines such as Time and Newsweek, we can educate ourselves. And if we can spare it, we can contribute$5, $10, whatever, to help support candidates we really believe in. Elizabeth Warren is such a candidate, for us, and we don’t even live in Massachusetts.
And if you live where yard signs are allowed, support your candidate that way. Find a local political group which encompasses your beliefs and convictions. Get a bumper sticker.
Hopefully everyone who votes this year will try to remember what is important, or should be important, to them: a chance for health for everyone; fewer people in poverty because of investments in our country; the right for gays to live their lives; the right for women to make their own choices of family planning; a serious plan for dealing with immigration that makes our country safer without mass deportation of those illegals already here; educational opportunities for our children. And finally, intelligent ways to reduce our deficit by means of tax reform, rather than destroying the two important government programs that have prevented greater poverty than what we have: Medicare and Social Security. Republicans do not seem to understand that the numbers they crunch with these various cut and slash plans represent the lives of very real people.
Many of those who voted into Congress the intransigent so-called Tea Party members have no doubt been surprised that the only tactic this group of individuals has is to delay and destroy. Of course, that is exactly what some citizens want. Do you? We find that the best way to try to figure out who is a fool and who is a keeper, is to listen to what they say. Not what others say about them, but what they actually say. Because an uninformed vote is not only useless, it is dangerous.