That’s no Moon! It’s an Election.
Why now, more than ever, it’s important you participate in voting
We’re now a short moon cycle, 28 days, away from the next Presidential election in the United States of America. The fate of the most powerful nation state in the free world lies in the hands of its voters. There’s still a bit of hand-wringing going on, but demographics favor the blue team and if people would just get out and vote, then Hillary Clinton is nearly guaranteed a win, just by the math alone. Her coat tails may even be long enough to turn the Senate and the House blue. But that’s up to you.
Note: I’m not really all that confident that people actually will get out and vote, especially in the states that are still in the ‘toss up’ zone (I’m looking at you Florida). So I’m writing this piece in hopes to inspire people to get out and vote for the cause they believe in, even if they can’t believe in the candidate.
I know that nearly everyone just wants the election to be over, like now. Me too, trust me (Central Florida, where I live is getting inundated with the nasty-ist ads both sides can deploy). But there is still some important work to do before November 8.
First make sure you’re registered. If you turn 18 before the election, register. If you moved from out of state register. If you moved within your state, file a relocation form. Do it today. Don’t wait for your state’s filing deadline (which is today in a few states).
Second, be sure to vote. If your state allows it, ask for a mail-in ballot. Then fill it out the day it arrives in your mailbox and send it back in. Early voting trends are crucial to motivate future voters. If a lot of people vote early, more people will get out to vote on Election day.
If you’re still not convinced. Here are some additional important reasons to get out and vote blue up and down the ticket.
Trump complains that the elections are rigged, while that’s not true for the Presidential election or Senate races, there are some House seats and state legislature seats that are in fact rigged. That’s because 6 years ago the Republican party caught Democrats sleeping at the wheel on the state level and elected enough Republicans to change the voting district maps, which can be changed only every 10 years, so it takes fewer republican voters to win a majority of seats than it takes democratic ones. That’s gerrymandering and we have just two more elections to reverse the balance in state legislatures and create anti-gerrymandering laws in a majority of states. That process has to start now.
The reality that inspired the Black Lives Matter movement can’t be denied. We need an administration and congress that will support more funds for training, community policing, and hiring officers from the communities they serve.
No more Pulse Nightclub Shootings, no more Sandy Hook elementary massacres
The only way to make sure we have no more multiple victim gun massacres is to enact sensible gun control laws that make sure you’re not on any watch list or exhibiting other risk factors before you buy a gun. We also need to outlaw use of military style weapons outside of pre-approved gun ranges or for those in active military reserve units.
Student Debt Relief
Somewhere along the line the price of higher education got disconnected from the ability of the student to pay the tuition themselves with a part-time job and a summer position. Now it requires taking on massive debt making a higher education a huge gamble. Will the economy be strong when you graduate or will you be stuck with massive loans and no ability to get the sort of job that pays well enough to pay them off. We have to remove that from the equation. Public high education should be available at minimal cost to all students who qualify.
More money for local education budgets
The quality of a child’s education varies greatly in this country based on how much each community is willing or able to afford. This has to end. There’s no excuse for schools in Mississippi to be falling apart while Bay Area kids have the latest and greatest. Additionally, we still refuse to pay teachers like the highly educated professionals they are. More pay, better schools, equal education for all.
Childcare and leave for both parents
Giving children a great start is crucial to a life of success. This starts with free care for expectant mothers, and paid leave for both parents of a new baby. There are some great models for how this works (such as a childcare time bank, similar to social security) and it wouldn’t be too hard to test a couple models out in different states starting almost immediately.
Like childcare, the U.S. is painfully behind other industrialized western nations in providing quality healthcare to all who need it. The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, but it was hamstrung by Republican riders and later the courts. We need a slate of reasonable reforms that continue to improve health care options while reducing costs. Eventually, the U.S. has to arrive at either a public option or single payer system that work for us.
You get the idea. The list could go on significantly further. So even if you feel like Clinton is the least worse choice between the top two candidates, there are a lot of reasons to vote blue up and down the ticket.