Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, the recent events at the Texas legislature have brought a few discussion points to the surface for voters. The Plaid theme for August is “Are you hot?” so it seems like the perfect time to discuss the heat our elected officials are facing these days. I predict some major shifts in office in the coming years as more citizens take time to become voters.
Beginning with the Tea Party movement in 2009, citizens have not only become more vocal about their dissatisfaction with the politicians who are running for office, but the injustices they perceive in the way bills are being written with earmarks and extras that have nothing to do with the central issue. Voters have become organized, powerful forces waging battle against long-standing institutions like lobbyists, corporate influence in government, and career politicians who are more interested in how to win the next election than serving their constituents.
The election of Barak Obama, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, major decisions like immigration reform, the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and the Defense of Marriage Act are just a few of the changes (for better or for worse) that have come about because people were finally motivated to stand up and be counted.
No matter how we as individuals feel about the issues, we can feel proud that our voice as a people is returning. As a nation, we have begun to turn out for elections in higher numbers. From 1968 to 1996, the national voter turnout steadily dropped. Beginning in the year 2000, we slowly but steadily began to return to the polls in higher numbers.
As a new mother, the importance of our nation’s future means more to me than ever before. I am proud as always to be an American, but I am now more inclined to make time to speak out about the issues that are important to me, to my son, and to my country’s future. I no longer simply shake my head at the news of poor legislature. I make time to support the candidates who represent my values, I speak out about what matters, and I refuse to be silenced even when my cause seems to be lost.
Ladies, stay hot, stay loud, and remember that whether or not we stand on the same side of an issue, our differences are what keep this nation centered; our sameness as women is what will keep this country sane.
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