So, we wait in line for a few hours, vote, get a sticker, and post on Facebook, "See? I voted!" And we think our civic duty has just been completed.
If our guy loses, we lean back in our chairs, smack our hands together, and say, "I wash my hands of this mess. The next four years isn't my fault or my problem." In fact, when our guy loses, we secretly want things to go badly so we can say, "See, I told you so" and get our guy in office next go-round.
If our guy wins, we lean back in our chairs, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, "Whew, my job here is done. I elected the right guy, and he'll take care of the rest for us."
But voting is not the most important thing we can do as Americans. Honestly, if we don't live in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, or Florida, our vote probably was meaningless. But if we're searching for a way to truly impact lives around us, perhaps we should take a moment to actually look around us.
If we cared as much about local politics as we do about the general election, imagine the good we could do for our neighbors.
But I know local politics is difficult for us in our 20s and 30s to get excited about. Our generation is on the move. My husband and I have lived in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, New Jersey, and New York. I'm not even sure I knew the mayors of more than half of the cities in which I've lived. (And I'm not even counting study abroad or working abroad experiences.)
In fact, let me fess up to how my moving lifestyle has affected my own political actions. I wasn't even registered to vote in NY. I still had my NJ license. I remembered checking the box when getting my NJ license to automatically register me to vote, but I guess it didn't go through because NJ didn't have me on the books as a registered voter. So, I didn't even vote this election. The pressure to vote in the general election is so great that I haven't even admitted this to most of my friends. But, the rational side of me knows that my vote wouldn't have even mattered in NJ or NY.
If I don't stay in one city or state long enough to ensure that I'm licensed to drive there and registered to vote there, how can I possibly say that I'm going to get involved with local politics?
And all I can think about is how badly I want to move back to Texas.
So, how can our generation, so open to moving, so transitory, how can we focus more on local politics, which is where we can make the most difference?
I don't know, and I'm trying to figure this out for myself. How do you get involved with your local politics or communities or churches? How do you plug in with your neighborhood? This migratory girl is looking for some feedback/suggestions and hoping to inspire you to plug in locally too.
P.S. Like the new color scheme? Hoping to make more changes soon.