Get out and vote – if you think like me

I am a bit frustrated so we are going to continue and hope this doesn’t become a rant…but I am thinking that once I make that disclaimer, I am already setting myself up for one…but on I go anyway.

Let your vote be countedif you are going to vote like me
Let your voice be heardif you are saying the same thing I am saying
Show up and show them strength in numbersif you presence adds to my team

Otherwise, sit down, be quiet and stay home or else it is personal.

I hear lots of conversations that verbally express the first thoughts, then escalate to the second ones in the face of opposition.

It seems like lots of folks want you to stand up and say what you think, unless you disagree with them. Then it is a personal death match instead of productive problem solving. Politics is the worse. Community activity is almost as bad. The workplace has the same characteristics.

Don’t get me wrong – I can be a guilty as the next person. If you tell me you are voting for…well, we won’t go there because that is not the subject and as soon as I say it, it will be. But let’s just say you are voting for person “A” and you support topic “B” and I am adamantly opposed to both. I don’t mind if you are uninvolved in the process. In fact, I would just assume you let me handle it. I am guessing you would probably say the same thing about me.

But, we both know the process is not supposed to work that way. Somewhere in the grand scheme of things, disagreement got personal and compromise was thrown to the dogs. Winning became the point – right be damned. Who cares what the other folks say, it will be my way. Anything less is defeat and I will not submit. How does that work? How is that mentality useful?

It is becoming harder and harder to figure out who is the majority. Harder still to figure out if the majority is right. Moreover, is the majority informed enough to know one way or the other? Understand that, in the US, we live in a republic more than a democracy. We vote for the people who vote in our stead. And our guy doesn’t always win – so, we have people voting for us that we didn’t vote for…but, I digress…

I guess the real question is when did we lose the art of honest compromise for the overall good and just?
More importantly, how do we get it back?


  1. April-

    (1) you know which ticket I punch, so I’m with you.

    (2) In politics (as in business), people wear blinders. The bad news is that no matter how educated people become, if they want to believe something, they will.

    (3) It’s amazing how easily tempers can flare when the word “politics” is used. It’s a good thing (passion leads to action) but a bad thing (anger rises faster and uglier than tolerance).

    I don’t think we get it back. It takes each individual to work on themselves and encourage others to do the same.

  2. Lani, I so agree with you on the big level (I especially like #3) But I have a right now need. Let me get more specific, without getting specific at all 🙂

    You go to a town council meeting and a group wants apples. But, the council wants oranges. They say all the people they have talked to in the town wants oranges. What a coincidence – I want oranges (especially the ones that are easier to peel 🙂 )

    Now, for whatever reason you can’t have apples and oranges. The council votes oranges. The apples are furious. Force the council to rethink their vote and table the issue until next time.

    All the while, the whole thing has gotten very ugly in the community.

  3. I see. Okay, let’s take a local example that’s been resolved here in Austin. The lame “Save the Salamanders” campaign launched years ago. We have natural springs that host an endangered species of blind salamanders, exclusive to Austin. All the local construction, etc. made them virtually extinct.

    In come the hippies, picket signs and all. Years go by of campaigning, fundraising, interviews, etc. and everyone laughed. What they asked for was limits on building near the springs- but it’s the hottest area of town! Plus, who cares about a stupid salamander? My real estate coffers are bigger than your hippie salamander coins in a cup.

    Turns out, with their persistence (and probably the bumper sticker campaign), they raised awareness. Many years later, local laws were passed that make the radius around the springs protected from land raping (pardon the language). The salamanders now thrive in their native environment and are no longer endangered.

    I hate hippies, and at first I was irritated. But guess what? They were right. All God’s creatures are precious. Did we lose money? Damn right- we could have sold condos on the springs for $1mill each at 6% commission. But, I’m okay with that.

    I have a point- I swear. If you’re an apple, you may not get your way right now- lives (even as insignificant as a salamander) may even depend on it. But, if the cause is right and unselfish (not like “we don’t like the city allowing red paint on downtown buildings” or “these traffic lights are all slowin’ me down”), with persistence and campaigning, apples will win.

    Oh, and catchy bumper stickers don’t hurt. Regardless of the pain, don’t give up if it’s a righteous cause- the hippies even converted ME (who stood in a freak snow storm in Austin for 4 hours to vote for Bush… for a second term).

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