There Is No Such Thing As Being Non-Political

Do you know if you are registered to vote in Georgia? Do you know what NEW State and local districts you live in (the lines have moved, folks!)? Do you know where to vote? Do you know WHEN to vote?

Do you know if you are registered to vote in Georgia?

Do you know what NEW State and local districts you live in (the lines have moved, folks!)?

Do you know where to vote?  Do you know WHEN to vote?

Do you want to see a Sample Ballot?

Go here to find out I'M SO SMART.

I gotta tell you something, I am about as sick and tired as I can be with people I meet griping and complaining about 'stupid politicians' and 'bad legislation' and right in middle of the conversation I find out they have no idea who their State Representative is, NEVER volunteered on a campaign and rarely vote! It infuriates me so much it makes me want to punch them right in the nose. Generally, I take the high road and just turn and walk away. Generally.

Joan Kirner was quoted at Women Into Power Conference, Adelaide, October 1994 as saying, "There is no such thing as being non-political. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it."

Oh Joan, truer words were never spoken.

Doing nothing but complaining about the political circus going on around you won't make it go away, but it WILL insure that you sound like an idiot.

Ignoring or dismissing the political activities in your community will only insure that you can NOT make a difference in your community. You have very little influence if you don't even know your elected officials by name. How can you call them out if you can't call the up?

For sure, if you abdicate then others will decide your quality of life. Others will spend your tax dollars and make decisions on how to spend your money. Others will benefit from your lack of participation. And then its complain, kvetch, condemn and you sound so ignorant.

Seriously, if you want to critique a football game, I don't expect you to have played football but I DO expect you to have at least watched one darn game!

Do us all a favor - if you won't put some skin in the game then shut up. If you can't tell me what Congressional district you live in then zip it.  If you have NEVER attend even ONE City Council or School Board meeting then button it up. If you haven't voted in the last 2 election cycles then just sit down and let the adults talk.

Get smart - get involved. Then you will have the tools and intelligence to have a smart conversation about process, candidates and elected officials and the stupid decisions they make. You can make a difference.  

Use the link above to get started. Call your local political party's State headquarters in Georgia (http://www.georgiademocrat.org/ is my choice, of course....smile) and ask them who is running for what offices in your particular state and local districts.  If you want some suggestions on who's campaign to work on, give me yell - of course, I have an opinion! (wink)

Then pick up the phone and volunteer on at least ONE campaign. Put out yard signs, answer the phone, make phone calls, bring cookies, wash dishes, attend events and hand out buttons and PLEASE write a check to support your candidate. Volunteering on a campaign is easy and its temporary, but it is very empowering. Then come tell me what is ailing you about an elected official or a really terrible law and I promise I won't punch you in the nose.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marc Acampora April 20, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I don't totally disagree. However, I'll offer an alternative perspective. Getting active in politics requires enormous amounts of time, mostly for very small changes, and often for none. Even the act of voting, at the individual level, makes virtually no difference whatsoever. I understand the concepts that the system works, and that everyone should exercise their vote and let their voice be heard. I'm just speaking from a practical reality. Most folks, even if not apathetic, have to prioritize their precious time, which may include a family, a job, friends, hobbies, etc. When weighing the time commitment versus results achieved to be politically active, most rank political activity low on the priority/bang-for-the-buck scale. But, just because they make that choice, does not mean they are not significantly affected by the political machine exerting ever-increasing forces on their lives. The result is understandable political inactivity coupled with justifiable concern and expression of that concern. I hope I didn't just invite a punch in the nose :)
ATLGal April 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
LOL - no Marc, not ready to punch you in the nose just yet. Do me a favor, ask Mayor Reed if he isn't grateful to the 715 people who believed their vote counts, because THEY helped him win his election. Every vote matters, especially in local elections.
Marc Acampora April 20, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Voting matters, and I always do it. So does being informed and involved. But, as with most things in life, its a matter of priorities. And, Mayor Reed may be grateful for those votes that put him over the top, but, shifting back to my perspective, generally speaking, my life is probably little different now than if the mayoral election results had turned out differently.


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