I am slowly coming out from under the covers and putting lots of pillows on the chair, as I come out of my election day funk, and to comfort the serious a** whooping my fellow Democrats received at the polls on Tuesday. Sort of like a deer caught in the headlights, I knew it was coming, but you just don’t believe it until it happens. The Senate, most Governor races, and my own swingin’ state of Ohio, turned, or remained as red as my bleeding heart liberal bias.
Looking at the world a little Left of Straight, I am usually pre-disposed to lean left and liberal when it comes to politics, whether it’s for gay rights, women’s rights, or just looking out for the little guy. At this point, I am more concerned with the in-action of Congress, than what party is in charge of doing nothing. This election at the Federal level really doesn’t concern me yet. There’s no major legislation that a little filibuster or well placed veto can’t slow down or stop.
At the State level however, I am very worried about all of the Republican Governors and State Legislatures and their power to govern. 31 states are now run by Republicans. These are the people who write the laws that effect day to day life for people like you and me. We should all be concerned about the Conservative Party’s push to privatize education, prisons, job creation, and anything else they can find to help them make some more money off of. Now I am all for Capitalism, making a buck is all well and good in and of itself, but growing the rich even richer, at the expense of the disappearing middle class and low income citizens, should not be something that gets you elected to higher office. My real concern is turning back the clock on equal rights.
Equal rights shouldn’t be a goal, it should be the law of the land, whether you are black, LGBT, women, or whatever. The Party of smaller government sure has been spending a lot of time legislating about yours and my personal lives. Has the country really been color-blind since electing a black President? Do all women really have the right to choose their reproductive decisions everywhere in our great country? Is it okay that finally over 30 states must recognize same sex marriage, while close to that same number of states allow you to deny housing and employment to individuals, just for being gay? These rights and others are mostly written and enforced at the State level of government, however if you think that the majority of these 31 Republican Governors won’t tow the Party line, you are naive at best, and complicit at worst.
The good news is, we have built into our Constitution a “do-over.” Every two to four years, we get a chance to decide again on the ideals we have for our great country. Unfortunately, a lot of damage can be done in that time between elections, so we must keep vigilant of what is being legislated for us. I am hoping in the next two years time, we see the importance of our elections, and if I had it my way, we would spend everyone of those 730 days educating our young people, how to educate themselves on the power of the ballot box, and how important it is to follow the rights we grant and take away in this country, through our duly elected government. Only 13% of people under age 30 voted in this mid-term election, down from 19%, just two years ago in 2012. With numbers hovering near 70% of younger adults agreeing that our LGBT causes are about basic rights as citizens, these are the people we need to reach out to. We can appreciate their vocal support as much as we want, but until they decide to turn that vocal support into physical action at the ballot box, we are doomed to remain second class citizens.
Yes we got “shellacked” at the polls on Tuesday, yet our government can only fail us if we fail to keep those we have elected, honest, and informed about what is of most to concern to us. You may not all see the world a little Left of Straight as I do, but I hope you do have a view of what is important to you, and will hold those newly elected officials accountable. Maybe if we all become a little more involved, we wont need our full “do-over.” Maybe we can keep the mulligans on the golf course and just elect more people that have the rights of our citizenry in mind. I will rise off these pillows soon to fight another day, but for now, a good cup of coffee and hot shower, just might do the trick!………………….S