When I was a kid, I had a great-uncle who was one of those incredibly memorable folks. Not for his warm fuzziness, but more for his ardent beliefs. He was a staunch ally for his political party, his union, his hunting and gun rights and his brand of American made automobiles. On the bumper of his chosen brand of truck, he had a bumper sticker I've never forgotten:
If you don't vote, don't bitch.
These days, I've found it's just easier to stay out of political conversations. People react with such fervor to anything they don't 110% agree with that it's just not worth ruining relationships to discuss. However, back in my days of constantly discussing political issues, as soon as the conversation would turn remmotely political, I'd ask my conversational partner, "Did you vote in the last election?" If the answer was yes, game on! If no, then I'd gracefully try to steer the convo in another direction. Uncle Les' bumper sticker just sat there at the forefront of my mind. Frankly, if you don't care enough to get out and vote every so often, there's no use in listening to the opinions of someone who cares so little.
These days, I've taken that bumper sticker and kicked it up a notch. Voting is no longer enough. Now, we've got to communicate with our elected representatives to let them know the views of their voting constituants. We have such easy abilities to let our voices be heard-not just by our votes, but by our voices. And yes, I do mean voices; calls to the offices of our elected officials, E mails, faxes and the good old fashioned hard copy letter.
Even with as politically minded as I am, until now, I've never been the guy who voiced his opinions to the guys in D.C. (or Jefferson City or Tallahassee, for that matter). But today...I did.
There are two issues near and dear to my heart which need the attention of my elected officials. So, I wrote and told them. What are these issues? Doesn't matter for the sake of this post-just know I'm taking the initiative to share my opinions with my elected officials...and I hope you will, too. An engaged, active citizen seems easier to come by these days-and with the ease of the internet, you, too, can contact your senators and Congressmen from your couch. And I hope you will