Did you know that the U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout? Only about 50% of Americans show up to vote during presidential elections, which means even less during the midterms. That’s appalling to me.
I’ve been lucky enough to not have to fight for the privilege to vote, but I still don’t take it for granted. Citizens who are eligible to vote but don’t because they complain the system is broken are squandering one of the most precious features of democracy: the peaceful exchange of power determined by the will of the people. People. Citizens. Politics. You can’t have one without the other.
The word “politics” comes from the Greek word politikos, meaning “of citizens, pertaining to public life.”
If we’re not actively engaged in making sure the outcome is in our favor, we have no right to complain about how politics affects us—or the animals. (And by the way reading news headlines, arguing with people on Facebook, or getting depressed while you scroll through your Twitter feed does not an engaged citizen make. In fact, the more I avoid these things, the more effective and productive I am!)
You don’t get more votes the more outraged you are. You still get just one. So step away from the headlines. Step away from social media. Take a deep breath. And vote. The animals — the least privileged, the most vulnerable citizens of our world — need us to show up for them!
[Tweet “Reading headlines and arguing with people on social media doesn’t mean you’re engaged. VOTE!”]
If you can do more than that, great!
- Encourage friends, family, and followers to vote! Encourage them to vote for animal-friendly candidates and ballot initiatives.
- Phone bank! A number of us get together each week to call voting citizens of California to ensure the passage of Proposition 12.
- Canvass door-to-door. Get involved with organizations like Democracy Action.
- Volunteer to drive people to the polls on election day.
- Check out my Political Guide for Animal Issues for more ways to get involved and STAY involved even after elections!
PHONE BANKING PARTY! MAKING CALLS TO VOTERS FOR THE ANIMALS
It took no time at all to connect with the Prop 12 leaders to get set up to phone bank from the comfort of our home. We can do it any time throughout the day now, but we like to make a party of it! We each bring food, we have our laptops and phones, and we sit in different parts of the house making calls for animals. Couldn’t be easier! (Contact me if you would like to do the same!)