Get Involved! Register and VOTE!
Maryland is currently in the pre-season of a gubernatorial election year. Declared challengers, incumbent elected officials and potential candidates are all posturing for the main event in November – but the public, as usual, remains unengaged except for bemoaning those they previously elected to govern.
I say: “It is time to get in the game!”
If you continuously opine the problems of either political party, or various opposite party officials, from the anonymous safety of social media, it is time to come out of the closet and stand eye-to-eye with problems. It is time to take to the street to question the records of those in office; time to knock a few doors and write a check or two; time to make a difference.
In the 2010 election there were primary races determined by as few as seven votes. You and your like-minded neighbors can truly make more of a difference than you would believe. But making a difference takes a greater effort than a “like” on a Facebook page, or a snarky comment on the local newspaper website. It takes real life participation.
I tire of my friends who refuse to put a bumper sticker on their vehicle, or a sign on their lawn, out of fear of what their employer or friends might think. Yet, it is these same people who have no problem with chatter at work about political problems, or bashing others on social media sites, as if it is oblivious to their employers and neighbors. Wake up – they know.
It is self-defeating to sit and complain without taking action. Go join a campaign, political action group, ballot cause, or at least stand on your street corner and waive the flag! Our state and our country need to have greater than a paltry performance of 36 percent voter turnout. We need to honor the fact we have the right to vote and remember those votes do change the path of our government.
While walking between houses this summer in a nice middle class neighborhood in Timonium, doing my door-to-door campaigning, I waived to a man sitting on a porch. He had watched me knock on his neighbor’s doors but not his. When I finished the street, I again walked toward his house, this time on his side of the street, on the way back to my car. He motioned me to come up to his porch.
He asked about my political venture and why I didn’t stop at his home. I said: “You weren’t on my list.” Then I handed him some literature and asked if he was new to the neighborhood. He said “no” and asked what type of “list” I was using. I said “registered voters.” He informed me he wasn’t registered, didn’t care to register and that it was politics which has ruined our country.
I smiled, was polite, told him I thought changes needed to be made and I would like to help make those changes. We chatted another minute and I waved good-bye heading to my car. It made me sad because he is not the only unregistered person with these views. I have a friend with the same thoughts except – with that friend – I am not as polite.
I have told my buddy dozens of times not to talk politics with me because his opinions do not matter. He has no right to complain if he does not participate. He just has to politely and quietly accept the tax increases, healthcare mess, bad economy and all the “lousy politicians” because he allowed it all to occur while he passively watched!
In this election year, I have already chosen many quality candidates to actively work to elect. I am working for myself and my candidates. I will, like every other election cycle, raise the flag and work hard for these candidates. Perhaps I will influence a few other voters, too.
In November I feel sure some will win and others will not, but I will have actively participated and thus earned the right to complain – and to continue to opine my thoughts here on TheTentacle.com.