September 30, 2015

Tom Brady, Donald Trump, and Civic Responsibility (this may be the only place you can see those three things linked together)

Tom Brady – in an “obvious” attempt to personify the issues we are having as a nation – said the following in a recent interview regarding whether or not he would be voting for his friend Donald Trump:

brady trump

“One way or the other, it’s so far away from when the election will be. And whatever I vote is going to be my own personal choice based on how I feel. I don’t even know what the issues are. I haven’t paid attention to politics in a long time. It’s actually not something that I really even enjoy. It’s way off my radar.”

While I (strongly) agree with Tom, that his vote should be his own personal choice, what concerns me is the “it’s actually not something that I really even enjoy” sentence.

Politics, the governing of our country, and the preservation of our way of life are not things that were ever meant for anyone’s personal enjoyment. Paying my taxes is “actually not something that I really even enjoy” but I still do it… because it is my responsibility. Fighting (and in many cases dying) across the Pacific, or in Europe in a world war was “actually not something troops really even enjoyed”… but they still did it… because it was their responsibility. Similarly, casting intelligent, informed votes isn’t “fun” … it is your responsibility as a citizen.

Upon first glance it may seem strange to draw a parallel between people laying down their lives in war and folks acting a bit cavalier about how they vote. However, when you look at why those people gave their lives (or pay their taxes), and you consider that having a democratic form of government was, to many of them, worth dying for… how can you not conclude it is critically important to take that responsibility seriously.

I know it’s dry, I know it’s frustrating, I know it does not stand up to the entertainment test like Game of Thrones (or Downton Abby, or Desperate Housewives, or whatever floats your boat), but I don’t care (and neither should you)… it’s your job. Watch a newscast, read the paper, watch the debates, know what you are talking about and vote accordingly.

If you don’t want to… if advanced citizenry isn’t your thing… there are plenty of dictatorships, monarchy’s, and other non-representative forms of government that would love to have you obliviously marching to the beat of their drum.

November 1, 2010

The Needs of the Many…

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , — sbj @ 8:23 pm

Tomorrow is election day, mid-term election day to be precise.  Once again many people are convinced that their vote does not matter… it does.

I’ve heard all of the excuses, ranging from “my vote doesn’t matter, my candidate doesn’t have a chance” to “I don’t like any of the candidates, I’d rather vote for this turnip.”

Well, your not going to solve the energy crisis by turning the lights off when you leave the room either, but you do it… because ultimately it does matter.  Voting, like conservation, like recycling, like philanthropy, and like so many other things does not work because you or I do it; it works because a critical mass of people do it.

If I, alone, threw all of my newspapers into a recycling center the world would actually be worse for it (based on the energy and resources that would go into the center to support me).  If my entire neighborhood did the same… still a waste.  However, when the entire city (or the vast majority of us) there is significant gain for everyone.

After the earth quake in Haiti, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and several other stars made individual donations of $1 million or more; this plus iTunes sales generated a reported $58 million in aide.  Sounds great right?  it is, but, text donations from individuals, individual donations to the Red Cross etc. totaled over $1.3 Billion in the first 6 months.  Why? because almost everybody did their part.  The donations from the stars made great news copy, but, all totaled, would not have made an appreciable difference in Haiti (which does not mean I don’t think they were fantastic gestures and greatly appreciated).

The bottom line is that sometimes it takes being a very small part of a very big effort to actually make a difference.  Voting is no different than recycling or charitable giving, is is the sum of the parts… all of the parts, that matters.

So please, tomorrow, get out there and vote.  I don’t care if you vote republican, Democrat, Independent or something else altogether (well, I kinda do, but thats not the point here) just do it! It won’t take that long and  it does make a difference.

Oh, and… don’t forget to turn the lights out when you go!

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