Many Americans treat politics as if it was a spectator sport. We cheer or boo at the television and endlessly discuss the bad plays with our friends. While we may know the names of the star players such as the president or governor, few of us could name the rest of the political team who represent us. It is as if those guys are bench sitters who never get to play, so we don’t even know who they are.
Just like watching a sporting event, we don’t get out of the bleachers or off the couch often, if ever. The most minor level of participation – the vote – is even too much for a surprising number of us. Those who do vote, often base that decision on little more than sound bites, or because they have always been a fan of one side or the other, or just in presidential elections.
While we may say we follow a team, we don’t bother to join that team by becoming an official party member. Others of us claim to be “independent,” while ignoring the fact that it takes a team to win a game. In our political system there are two major teams and a few very minor ones. The percentage of citizens who officially belong to a team/party is miniscule. The number of those who are active in their party is even smaller.
Politics is not a spectator sport; it is real life. Every day, county, state and federal officials make decisions that impact you today and into the future, and you don’t even know their names. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you don’t like what is happening in our government, do something about it. Joining a party/team is an easy avenue to start learning about the issues, meeting candidates then actively supporting the ones you like. Register, then vote. It is not too early or late to be involved. If you want your favorite team to pursue your values and well being, and win the championship, maybe you need to “carry some water” for them. Be a participant, not a spectator.
Ann Arwin, Corunna