if you (an eligible voter) didn’t vote in this last election (a open, friendly letter from me to you)

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you didn’t vote in this last election, maybe the LAST thing you’re going to do is click on the link to read my thoughts on this.  I’ll bet you’re good and darn tired of the national conversation, by this point.  Know this:  so am I.  The only reason I’m still watching, listening, and talking is what I believe to be at stake.  Part of me for sure wants to check out of the news and just go read a good fiction book or bake some cookies while listening to good music or ride my bike and pretend that it all just didn’t happen.

If you didn’t vote in the election, I am not blaming or crediting you for the way it came out.  That wouldn’t make any sense, because I have no way of knowing who you’d have chosen or how you may or may not have changed the outcome.  I will tell you honestly that I’m a little tempted to raise an eyebrow and demand that you make zero complaints for the next four years, since you didn’t show up at the polls.  I’m resisting pushing that point very hard, though, because my guess is that many of you didn’t opt out for lack of caring.  I’m guessing you decided you didn’t really have a voice, or that there were not good choices available.  I’m guessing that the sleaze-fest of accusations on all sides that was the last year or more of daily campaign news just zapped your willingness to be part of the process.  I do understand that, if it’s the case.

If you didn’t vote in this last election, I’m asking you to consider a new approach in the coming years.  You live in arguably the greatest nation in the world (though I’m not nationalistic enough to think that we’re somehow inherently superior to all other places).  You have opportunities that people in other parts of the world don’t have access to.  Even the poorest among you are likely better off than many outside our borders.  Your US citizenship affords you advantages many have died to protect, and some would kill to gain access to.

If you didn’t vote in this last election, I’m urging you to consider the battles that took place across history to get that right for you.  I’m not assuming you don’t know about what’s going on politically – for sure, some of you don’t (just like some who voted don’t), but for sure, some of you do.  If you don’t, I’m asking you to consider replacing some of your entertainment time with an effort to learn.  Knowing what’s up seems like the least we owe in response to the great blessing and privilege of living in such a free place.

If you didn’t vote in this last election, please make sure you’re educated by real news (not only fringe news sources) and then please get up and make your voice heard.  Write letters.  Make calls.  Volunteer for a good cause.  Be the change you want to see in the world – I feel pretty confident that if you didn’t show up to vote, part of the reason was you don’t like a lot of what you see in the world today.  Be the change.  Your country needs you.  It has provided much for you.  Give back, please.

A few of you who didn’t vote in this election made loud pronouncements that those of us who did are part of the problem.  I can only say to you that this is the system we have.  Yes, it is broken.  I know that.  Refusal to jump in and do something won’t change it.  There are people who are trying to do something new; maybe join them if you can’t stomach the 2-party system one more minute.  Everyone has known some junior high person that is too cool for everything; they are genuinely annoying human beings, and we should all be grateful that they generally outgrow that passage.  I’m here to gently propose that if you’re too cool to participate in the process, trying to make the changes you think need to be made – my friend, maybe you’re part of the problem.  I don’t believe your intentions are bad, but maybe the outcome is.  Please consider this possibility.

If you didn’t vote in this last election, I’m interested in hearing from you about that.  Comment here, or send me a private message.  I want to understand where you’re coming from.  It’s important that all voices be heard and understood, and yours isn’t be captured in the lack of vote.

I’m praying for you.  Please, ask yourself what is the best you can do on this front, and then start pursuing it, even if only in tiny increments.

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