It’s tempting to not get very involved this election cycle, isn’t it? Frankly, after our last big round in 2008 and what’s happened since- the lack of bold action from our candidates- doesn’t exactly inspire me to take action for November 2nd.
Yet, I am thinking back to 2000, and I remember so clearly how a president was chosen by the US Supreme Court. We were angry with the power and the positioning that allowed this decision to be made, but I was even more disheartened with the fact that the election could even be close enough that the Court could get away with naming a President. That electoral year many of us put a lot of our heart and soul into the turnout efforts. I remember the conversations I had with some newer voters that said to me, "really, what is the difference between Bush and Gore?" I think we can all testify that in fact, it would have been different if Gore had become president, perhaps not all that what we wanted, but different.
While we have no reason to believe that the Supreme Court will be choosing any candidates this election, I remember how I felt that day in 2000; I remember feeling that if every conversation I had with folks who questioned the real difference between the candidates, if those votes had been cast, would the results have been different? I can’t help but think so. And I can’t help but think we just can’t let this election get carried in the direction it’s heading.
This is a year that voter turnout will make all the difference. So, let’s do what we can. (And ROP has the tools, the STAND Voter Guide, the call scripts and the voter lists to help in your community). Whether we back local candidates or work to get out the vote of likely progressive voters, these efforts will impact statewide races, who holds our legislature and the outcomes of ballot measures.
And then after the election is when the real showdown will begin and we’ll need to get a lot tougher with those who got into office. So let’s make sure we don’t get sidelined on November 2nd and let’s use this election cycle to get them on record for their values.
And if you haven’t seen this year’s ROP STAND Voter Guide. Check it out at www.rop.org. There is little campaign talk this year about the ballot measures, so voters will have less info than normal on the ballot measures, which can lead to less people filling out their ballots. The STAND Voter Guide breaks down the ballot measures in short, easy to read summaries and offers pro-democracy analysis. Let’s get this info into our neighbors hands. STAND Voter Guides are in the mail to human dignity groups that placed orders. Let ROP know if you’d like additional copies to distribute by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.