Think Globally, Vote Locally | Tristan Shields

Think Globally, Vote Locally

Here in Virginia, it’s natural to think a problem half a continent away is no worry of ours. All the talk and attention about the immigration/family separation crisis at our southern border can seem heartbreaking but distant. However, today’s world is literally so connected that it should be no surprise to hear Governor Northam took action this week to investigate immigrant children abuse right here in Stauton, Virginia. For details, read more here.

Everything that happens politically in any part of our country touches our lives, sometimes in ways closer than we realize. If we want good government and compassionate leadership we can’t have episodic participation. We have to vote the right people into office.

Let me explain what I mean by episodic participation. When something egregious happens it galvanizes people to act via protesting, calling elected officials, posting on social media, etc. However, while it is important to vocalize dissent, it pales in comparison with the power of the vote. Voting the right people into office is the only guarantee that your voice will be represented. For example, for years in Virginia people have been demanding Medicaid expansion and were ignored by the Republican majority in the legislature. Only when Republicans almost lost the House in 2017 were they willing to compromise and finally pass Medicaid expansion.

Voting is more important than any other civic activity. Republicans get it. Republicans have exploited the power of local elections for the past twenty years. That’s why they control all branches of the federal government and a majority of state legislatures today.

As Democrats, we need to be laser focused on getting out the vote. That’s the only power we have to make America great again.