This article is for all my Republican and Democrat party member friends who complain that government is broken, but believe the folks they elect somehow *already* know what the ‘right thing to do’ is. It’s for my Libertarian and Anarchist friends who spout off on social media and leave it at that. A brief reminder, if you will, that none of you are doing enough.
It’s hard not to be negative. When you’re an idealist like me, it’s even harder. A couple of people have texted me since session started and asked, “Seriously – how hard is it for you to work at the Capitol?” It’s really freaking hard because I’m not just advocating for or against one bill, but a general reform of government and the process. Daily. So, generally, I opt for being snarky to mask the complete loathing for the process and the system. And most of you all.
To be perfectly blunt, I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of the laziness. I’ve noticed, especially advocating for the opposition of HB 244/SB 8 that I’m not alone in my opinions, but that means so very little. People make up every excuse as to why they don’t have time or why they can’t do something. I can lay out the email addresses with what to say so all you have to do is copy-paste. We see this with petitions for FreedomWorks and grassroots organizations trying to mobilize people to lobby their elected officials. Uber. Craft Beer. Transportation. Everything you need within 3 clicks. And people won’t do it.
I’m tired of people thinking a once-a-month dinner social or happy hour is sufficient for activism. Or the people who think the political parties are the end-all, be-all. If that is your mindset, I can’t even begin to tell you everything you’re missing. How did you affect change this month? What do you have to show for progress?
I’m tired of the lack of prioritization. We all need an outlet, but obsessing over the The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, The Bachelor, fighting over whether or not ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is the demise of our society, and losing friends over football games? None of these things change our lives. They don’t. Yet they consume us.
I’m tired of people not recognizing that we have it easy. We live in an information age that allows us to instantly share information with the click of a mouse. We should be the most educated generation, we should know all the ways we’re failing our brand and The People…and yet, we fall short because we are sharing videos of Bostonians running around in the snow with only swim trunks and the latest BuzzFeed article that tells us “Which Disney Duo You and Your BFF Would Be”
I’m tired of pet issues and people not recognizing that every bill that passes through actually does affect them. If it’s not you this time, that only means it’ll be you next time. What reason have you given the state for it not to be?
I’m tired of people not understanding perpetuity. Every time we pass something, it is precedent. It is permanent. It might, maybe, if-we-try-really-hard one day be repealed but that’s just a strike through. It stays on the books. Nothing is erasable. Everything will be referenced at a later date.
I’m tired of being disappointed by the people I’m surrounded by because they don’t realize that by not paying attention to why we are afforded such a lovely life, it won’t be long before we no longer have such a life. Actually do something – today. Oh, and the stones you occasionally throw when something blatantly affects you…you’re throwing them from the cheap seats.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Well said! I concur.
Hey PC, your attempts to make a difference by motivating the voters will surely fail. The “powers to be” in both the Republican Party and Democratic Party control the actions of the elected individuals. Why, because the P-to-Be control the money and benefits of political office (Committee Appointments and Positions of Power). Instead of attacking Stone Mountain with a shovel, why not try dynamite. Work to change the way candidates are nominated for office, currently by a costly political primary, but instead by the people who belong to the “Party” that the candidate represents. Let the “members” decide. Then people can run for office with out a bank full of money to finance their campaign. The real, informed, concerned members of the political party will nominate their candidate to compete against the other political nominees in a general election. Otherwise like the rest of us you will eventually take your shovel and go do something else with your life. The battles you are fighting will never win the war.
I don’t subscribe to the view that efforts to motivate voters will surely fail. There is nothing “sure” about it, though it is a difficult task. The only thing that would bring surety to such a view, is to assume such, and give up.
Further, letting the party itself make the decision as to who the general election candidate will be would make things worse, not better, making things even more of a “good ol’ boys club” than they already are, at all levels of governance.
The reality of that would have WAY less to do with “real, informed, concerned members of the political party” than it would have to do with “Real, self-serving, well connected members of the party” than it already is.
Keep fighting PC, the battles you are fighting are necessary to fight, even if the odds are long. Beats the alternative: Apathy.
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May the Force be with you Baby Girl. KudosX10 because if do not know how you do it, but I look forward to reading you. My concern is the average Joe does not know SB123 or HB113 most of the time have any idea what bill is and the acronyms do not help if you don’t have a clue what they stand for. Feel better soon .
Do you understand that those surveys and petitions from Freedomworks are actually ways to harvest names and addresses to solicit donations and to claim that they have large “membership” to enhance their own power, Jessica?
No group that operates like Freedomworks, AFP, TPP, and several others at the national level are actually engaging in effective and empowering political work because they have chosen to be entirely unaccountable vehicles for the ambitions and pocketbooks of a few at the top. Heck, you can’t even reach them by phone AFTER you give them a donation. That is a problem.
In sharp contrast, leftist organizations have real membership dues, real phone numbers, real staff, real state and national boards, real board elections at both levels, and real elections by the membership on stances and issues to be carried out by the leadership and staff. That’s called effective political organizing.
I agree with you that many citizen conservative groups devolve into monthly entertainment, but they are also crucial for building trust and for mobilizing work within the parties back home. And some groups are very effective — look at Cherokee TEA and what they get done. They work very hard, and efficiently. Even smaller groups hold their own representatives accountable just by being there. And that’s the way the system is supposed to work.
I respect your work ethic and you are a great writer, but think about this a bit more. If we are going to grow, we need to have real organizations with real elections, real bylaws, real rotating leadership, not these astroturfing, unaccountable people in Washington trying to distract with shiny baubles and fake surveys and an occasional paid staffer to shill their agenda here and there. And clicking a button is not real political work. You need to make phone calls to affect legislation and do voter registration and GOTV. A few paid lobbyists and some real phone trees would transform outcomes on several pieces of legislation at the state capitol. But good luck to you and keep up your good work. Even though we probably don’t agree on every issue, I’m glad I found this blog.