OP-ED: 10 reasons why political complacency is not an option – Part 2, 5-10

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The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. Both articles highlight the cause and effect of each listed reason as to why political complacency is not an option.

6- If you find yourself caring about any of the following:  The environment, equality, medical care, a healthy economy, discrimination, or other such sociopolitical concerns/matters that affect your life -get involved, speak, push back, type, text, post a sticker, and scrutinize your information sources. The point is that our voices are powerful weapons. Perhaps it’s time to enter your political representative’s phone number and email into your contacts list. They will get the message when you empower yourself.  

7- Traditional media and social media is being hijacked by special interests who perpetuate fake news to rile you up and deliberately misinform to get you onboard with policies that seem like they’re helping you, but really only puts money in their pockets. Simultaneously, they desperately try to normalize or smooth-over the things that are naturally disconcerting or bothersome to you (i.e. “grab them by the P—-” is somehow just locker room talk –it isn’t).  

8- It wasn’t always like this –Why should we be the generation to have to live through it? It’s true. We didn’t start the fire, as Billy Joel sang, but it’s important to know that there exists the possibility to turn things around. This hope is kept alive by two things: a) the possibility of reintroducing common sense media regulation, like what we had with The Fairness Doctrine (1949-1987) to help to keep media responsible to the public, and, b) your political action and involvement. In a sense, “b” can deliver “a” but it will take some degree of organization and sustained will.

9- 10 years from now, when asked, you want to be able to say you fought against the absurdity, not, I could not be bothered. That this is happening on our watch is bigger than what it feels like at the moment. But when you follow this to its logical conclusion, future America will turn their eyes keenly towards us –perhaps even our own children will question our complacency. We can be heroes (reluctantly or impassioned –it really doesn’t matter), or we can be the ones to leave the gates opened as we look the other way while unfathomable things marched through, set up operations, and deteriorated a nation once heralded as a shining beacon on a hill. It’s all but guaranteed that this will not escape us.

10- Complacency is not an option –we tried it, and all this happened. To encapsulate the two parts to this concurrent piece, we must realize that we cannot wait for other people to fix the problem. It’s easy to pull back from the divisiveness and the rancid state of our current political situation. And it’s super easy to get lost or escape in our entertainment that awaits us behind some sort of screen or touch-screen glass, but ignoring these issues and not taking action just adds to an already dire situation. Our democratic system only works when we are vigilant and active. Let’s not forget, power unchecked has free rein. While we know that we have the power to vote politicians in and out of office, we also have the ability and duty to call out those that are bearing false witness and to rise to be the gatekeepers that are necessary in protecting our democracy, reason, facts, and truth.

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