Elections are Beginnings Not Endings

If you are thinking of voting for a third party candidate, there is nothing that I can do, say, or write that has already been written. Maybe, you want to blow the system up – so I guess Trump is a good fit? Or maybe you don’t think Clinton will be far enough to the left- might as well go to a third party. One may live in a noncompetitive state and think, “What’s the point- they’re going to win anyway. What does my vote matter?” All of these are fair questions. People have literally died expanding voting rights in this country, millions of dollars have spent both expanding and suppressing the vote, and approximately $5 billion dollars will be spent this election. You can vote for who you want. You should be informed about your choices, but it’s your choice. That being said, it will do a lot more good for your issues and your beliefs if you stay involved.National politicians are not responsive to individual demands. For every issue, there are at least 20 issue groups on every side. There are lobbyists, trade groups, and representatives from companies who roam DC, pushing their issue to anyone with ears. Local politicians, on the other hand, respond to different incentives. While there are still state-level lobbyists and business interests- there are less. There is more time to change sides on the issues and talk about different solutions.

In a non-election year, politicians can afford to take more time on the issues. We, as citizens, should also take more time on the issues outside of elections. If you truly believe that the country needs to focus more on conservation: working with local groups to promote recycling, better waste management, or retrofitting government buildings is almost guaranteed to be more successful and immediately meaningful to your life. Often, small groups are able to exert huge influence simply because people outside are not motivated enough to rally against it.

Elections are the beginning of political change and positions, they simply cannot be the end. National politicians are not responsive, simply because no matter what they do, they’re responding to someone and therefore making them happy. Smaller politicians have a more clear idea of what their constituents want and can deliver more immediate results.

Most importantly, elections are repeated events. Every election is the most important election because it is the one that decides all future elections. Every election matters, but the government doesn’t only work during elections. If we want a better government, we have to be better citizens.


Image Credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/

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