This Election Is About Who You Are

By Adrienne Evans, executive director for United Vision for Idaho

The tree is the thing that we see, but the roots buried beneath the surface give rise to things that demand deeper analysis and understanding if we are really to see the world for what it is — It’s about seeing ourselves for who we are and who we want to be.

As the illusion of who we’ve been and what we’ve become are shattering, we have to ask ourselves one question, how committed are we to having a system that we can re-envision and remake?

In my work in social justice, I cannot count the times that I have heard, if I were living in “that time”, in “that place,” I would not be a bystander — “I would never…” Yet, here we are — here we stand — the moment is now, and we may not get another chance — certainly not in my lifetime.

Here is what I have learned about most people: Essentially, we all want the same things and we don’t want to have what we have by trampling over one another to get what we all deserve. There’s a justness and a fairness that most people hold. Once we see each other and really talk, the reality that our benefit has come at the expense of others doesn’t sit well.

People by and large want to belong to each other, but that has been co-opted by an allegiance to a political party. So, let me be crystal clear, you will determine the future of our country and neither political party is the answer — YOU are the answer.

This administration and the US Senate under Mitch McConnell have caged children, separated families, they have given billions of dollars to Big Ag and Factory Farming Industries to take over your family farms, they have attempted to take away healthcare from millions of Americans during a global pandemic effectively making Covid a preexisting condition, they have provided no relief to workers on the frontlines, they have been silent on Russia putting a bounty on the heads of the men and women serving our military in Afghanistan as our president calls those who have suffered in service “suckers and losers,” they have gassed and pepper sprayed us in the streets and used the national guard to silence our voices, they have stacked the courts against us, they have threatened no peaceful transfer of power and to erase our votes — they have treated us as though we are disposable.

So, this election is perhaps the last time you will get to vote. You may not like the democratic candidate. I don’t care. You may have voted for Trump in 2016 and voted for breaking up a system that hasn’t benefited you, I get it! But we are here now and it’s not about your party and it’s not about your policy preferences — it’s about whether you want to live in a democracy? It’s about when people ask you, ‘What did you do?’ You can confidently say, I voted for another day to have the debates — I voted for democracy for you! This election is about YOU and what you are made of.

Adrienne Evans is a sociologist, recognized national speaker, social justice organizer, and executive director of United Vision for Idaho.