The midterm elections are finished. Republicans are in control of the senate and the house, many governor races went in the favor of republicans and certain counties in Arkansas still do not sell alcohol. We all have different opinions on what this means and where it leaves the state of the union. To bridges the differences, let’s establish some facts.
Fact one: No matter how it turned out, the change this country needs to happen would not have happened. Fact two: In two years, we will have an opportunity to repeat this sorry dance. It will be a presidential election year, the amount of money donated to candidates will surpass what was done now, and we will still be baffled by it. Fact three: The amazing turnout in many polls throughout the country. This was a midterm election and many areas saw a turn out equivalent to presidential elections. People are voting.
In order for real changes to happen in this country, the people must be active. Our voices and our votes must be in unison. Our politicians and their funders need to experience fear. This fear isn’t “sitting through a scary movie” fear. It needs to be “I don’t know how I’m going to feed my family” fear. That fear comes from losing and not having backers or a constituency. Everyone must vote and educate themselves on candidates and issues. Unfortunately there is an absence of a major mobilizer for people to take action.
What catalyst must there be for our country’s citizens to take charge? This catalyst must cross party lines and appeal to everyone on the same level. Most importantly, a sense of loss has to be created to mobilize millions to speak up. A hunch is that if our freedom has been taken away; that might do it. The last year has defined topics that could never be that catalyst. Sadly, these include raising the minimum wage, health care to everyone, racial and wealth inequalities, and a general apathetic blanket that has been draped over the entire country.
The first step though is exercising our vote. Vote in every election. Bring everyone you know to vote. Bring voting into casual conversation. Make voting the center of our culture. Challenge the candidates you are or aren’t voting for. The brilliance of the universe is that the next year, the next day, the next minute, we can change the future. Absolutely nothing is set forever.
Or maybe, it is as simple as this clip from HBO’s Newsroom. “It’s not the greatest country in the world.”