At the beginning of this year, I wrote about my determination to be hopeful for the future despite all of the troubling realities that we face as a nation. Much has transpired throughout the intervening weeks that cause me to feel great concern, though I refuse to lose hope. Yet a certain political party’s quest for power and endless wealth at any cost, where the legitimate needs of our diverse population are always ignored, appear to be a worrisome theme nevertheless. Unfortunately, this mindset has intensified in these first few weeks of 2023, which is alarming.
As a writer, I tend to stand to the side and observe, absorbing details that can somehow help me make sense of the world I witness around me. In this case, while a methodical comprehension of the threat to the quality of our lives is warranted, where digesting details of the complicated landscape must occur, concrete action also has to be a vital part of the plan.
So that’s why I strongly believe one clear answer exists, a resolution that offers an optimisitic pathway against the bottomless corruption. To shape this nation into what it should embody, reflective of a society that places the public’s best interests far above an extremist group’s ambitions at our expense, the answer is clear. It’s all up to us: the voters.
In witnessing the House of Representatives’ new session, a thin majority that gleefully ignores its responsibility to the American people at every turn, it’s shocking to see the deliberate refusal to address this country’s concerns. While removing proven public servants from committees through strategic lies that baselessly attack their morality, actual liars and masters of misinformation are promoted into these powerful positions instead. The intentional focus on obscuring the truth, on elevating cruelty and falsehoods over a genuine commitment to an ethical government, ensures that we, the people of America, are continually helpless. Within this world that the right-wing currently envisions, where reality evolves into a distorted grievance fest to generate our distrust and to reinforce its own power, the objective is to ensure that we have no say.
For this reason, it’s up to us, the voters, to alter this horrendous dynamic.
Although our system of governance doesn’t permit us to intervene in the terrible games played by elected officials as they occur, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be alert to each one, to every bit of the vile treachery that unfolds. We can still call certain representatives out for the constant breach of trust that they engage in and perpetuate with virtually every word that they utter. Through phone messages, social media posts, and other forms of community protest, we have a voice, even if these officials feel immune to what we think of them.
They are not invulnerable. And they’re not insulated from our criticisms because their power comes directly from us, the voters.
The November 2022 midterm elections across America are a prime example of our collaborative power. As the extremists plotted to steal more of our rights, delighted in their ability to destroy the federal protections that had enshrined authority over of our own bodies, we stopped this vicious robbery from further worsening. In fact, we prevented the majority of authoritarian wannabes from infiltrating local, state, and national political positions for their cruel aspirations.
In my view, this means virtue endured throughout the traumatic apprehension we faced during this past election season. Despite the evil goals that seemed to be inching closer and closer to fulfillment, voters refused to submit.
The lesson that I take from this experience is that while we don’t have the obvious day-to-day authority granted to lawmakers in Washington, voters can still resist their damaging intents when necessary. We have the ability to shape our society, to demand that policies designed to hurt us are not enacted. Granted, this collective voice is limited to elections for the most part, but that doesn’t mean we’re helpless either. We are not.
It’s frightening to witness an entire political party that wants to instill discomfort and suffering on our population simply to sustain its power. I’m afraid of the developments that I see circulating in our atmosphere, where the consistent resolve to undermine and to cause relentless chaos actively endanger so many crucial aspects of our daily lives. From attacks on our basic rights to the dismantling of fundamental structures meant to create a society that doesn’t favor the wealthy and the connected, these underlying pillars are at great risk. Although I find it terrifying to admit, an enemy exists from within and its determination has not faltered in the least. With this knowledge comes a sense of purpose, an eager desire to stop such societal destruction and strive for a better pathway that benefits us all rather than just a privileged few.
Because of the egocentric sickness that’s infected an appalling number of representatives, those who fail to elevate the country’s needs above their personal ambitions, it’s truly up to us, the voters, to assert our values. Hoping that these elected officials will eventually reverse their dangerous direction is a waste of energy. It won’t happen, not ever. We must see the peril clearly and make selecting the right people for these crucial positions of power an unshakable priority.
Voting is the way we can reconfigure our world to reflect fairness, to celebrate diversity, to value human life at all levels, and that’s where I see hope. By demanding and questioning, carefully researching the people who campaign for public office so as to verify their perspectives on matters that affect us individually and collectively, we have the chance to make critical, necessary changes.
It really is up to us to assert our principles and to confront a growing group that wishes to destablilize this country as a way of eliminating its democratic framework. These extremists view voters as inconsequential, a means for gaining power and nothing more. They forget that we exist once in office, enabling and promoting lies that drastically conflict with what’s best for our lives.
So voting matters more than ever. It’s the only way to define a country where we count, where we’re acknowledged and are always viewed as a prime concern in the decision-making process of every governmental entity. To ensure that this vision occurs for the long-term, not overturned by political whims, it really is up to us.