sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 7, 2017

a plea from the disenfranchised
posted by soe 3:03 am

Election Day has arrived. Many of you have the opportunity to head the the polls to vote for local officials. After the dumpster fire we’ve had politically the past 365-plus days, it might be tempting to stay home, since what does it matter anyhow? They’re going to do what they’re going to do and there’s nothing that can be done, some might think. Please don’t do that. Please get out and vote, no matter how inconvenient or insignificant it may seem.

It’s easy to see how voting for members of Congress or governor is important, but what about for state representatives or town selectmen or local sheriffs or comptrollers? Do they really matter? Can’t we just skip voting in those elections?

In a time when the federal government isn’t doing its job properly, those people become even more important. They’re providing checks and balances to our national leaders. They’re setting the tone for what’s important to local communities, be it standing up to ICE raids on local immigrants, suing for environmental protections, legislating gun restrictions, or putting money aside for local arts programs or after school programs. The federal government is no longer looking out for everyday citizens, so state and local governments have to step up and do it. So the people in those offices are crucial to protecting not only your community but the rest of the communities around the country.

Discouragement and hopelessness can spread like a fire. People in it for themselves, as they seem to be at the national level, can make it seem like your one voice is screaming into a hurricane. And that’s what they want you to think. They want you to stay home. They want you to feel like there’s nothing you can do to stand up to them and their power. As Luna Lovegood says to Harry Potter, “If I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else; because if it’s just you alone, you’re not as much of a threat.” You and your fellow voters aren’t alone. You and your local elected officials can be a threat to the powers-that-be. Because hope and optimism and kindness spread, too, if just a little more quietly.

So please go to the polls. Support the people who’ll protect the most vulnerable amongst us. If there’s only one person running for an office and they’re a jerk, write someone else in. There is nearly always that option, even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Vote today. Speak truth to power with your ballot. Stand up and be counted because there are always those who can’t who are relying on you to speak on their behalf. Be the change you want to see and the citizen you want others to be.

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