Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What we ask of everyone in 2016: #VoteDownticket

We prefer to keep this about books, the book business, and local issues, but let's face it. This election season is toxic to business and localities everywhere, and it isn't doing much for books either.

This is not an endorsement. This is not an opinion about particular politicians, any of them. It's a request. It's because we're frustrated too, and we don't like living in Frustrated!America any more than you do, and we want change, and we believe this is a way to get it.


Many of you don't like the presidential choices we have. Some of you are passionate about not voting for them. Some of you are passionate about not voting.

Here's the thing though. If anything will be different one, or two, or four years from now, your fellow citizens need you to vote this November for local officials, Representatives, and Senators to enact better laws and to push for systemic change. Your local vote matters. Your neighbors are counting on you to help them replace cronyism and corruption throughout our government with vision and hard work. That is why we need you to vote anyway, even if you only vote "downticket" - for national congress members and for state and local leaders.

Here in Iowa, we have one incumbent who has been criticized for slowing the confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee. You should look for more information about this situation, and about some other judicial appointment delays under this committee chairship. Look at the candidate's other stances and values. Weigh them. Make a decision, and vote. It will affect the courts, and it will affect many, many other things in our nation and state. A lot depends on your vote in this non-Presidential race.

A Representative from this state has gained international notoriety for some comments on issues of race, women's health issues, funding measures, and more. Check his record on voting and think about whether this person will make the changes you want to see.

Citizens who want change, citizens who have insight and information about a variety of issues, and citizens who have strong leadership skills deserve a chance to run for office against our incumbents. Supporting their desire to represent you starts when you #VoteDownticket.

It's at the state and local levels that decisions get made about adequate education funding to ensure, among many other things, that our youth to learn how to turn community concerns into a "platform" during a "caucus" or "convention" - terms that mean everything to the functionality of the system we have, tools that are our current best option to create the country we want. Choosing state and local officials means that you need to know who is running, what they believe and who backs them, and then go to the polls and #VoteDownticket.

Do not discourage civic involvement by teaching all who want to participate in civic discourse that all politicians must be crooks. Instead, repeat the wise words of former leaders. Repeat your values. Repeat what you loved about a past candidate. Repeat the importance of responsibility. Don't repeat slander and slogans. Check your facts. Check your language. Don't advertise for any candidate you don't support. Don't adopt that candidate's strategies or terminology. Don't name what is wrong for the sake of being right about it. Say what is right for the sake of making right possible.

Repeat your hopes. Repeat your demands. Repeat your truth. Tell it until it seems possible, then do it until it is done. #VoteDownticket.

It's the internet. You want clicks; you want presence. That's fine. Start necessary conversations. Skip the shock and cut straight to learning and sharing your beliefs.

Why is this campaign so ugly? Some leaders made bad decisions, yes. But we must change the tone. Don't repeat the negatives. Don't use your voice, your audience to run a negative campaign. Don't let yourself be crowdsourced to speak for what you don't believe.

Say what you do believe. Say what we can do. Research, then share, options, links, ideas, emails, petitions. Research what is right when others share options with you. If you're angry because you believe this is no longer our election for our president, meet your representatives and say what we need to change.

Repeat ideas and solutions. Repeat ethics and demands. Repeat what you hope for America. Repeat who deserves your vote Nov. 8. #VoteDownticket.

"We hold these truths...." "Shall not perish from this earth...." "We have nothing to fear...." "I have a dream...." "Ask not what your country can do...." You know every one of these phrases. Each one means something to you. Maybe they mean different things to different people, but they are the words to which we turn when we think about our nation. What is America? Our words. We must choose them wisely. We must choose hope if we can find it, joy when we have it, truth when we need it, vision so that we can share it.

Choose to speak the nation in which we deserve to live.


No comments:

Post a Comment