Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Elections Hurt, Civil Rights Can Help

As we get closer and closer to Election Day, I see more and more people fighting over things that, in the end, are silly.  Unemployment rates, taxes, abortion laws... What most are over-looking is the fact that bills go through Congress to become law.  They do not have to be signed by the president to become a law.  Congress can override a presidential veto so long as 2/3 majority vote yes to the bill.  All of this is what keeps the president from being a dictator.  There are ways in which the president can influence and lobby for a bill, but ultimately Congress decides.  Many of the things brought up in the debates will be forgotten as soon as the election is over.  Some will come up once or twice, fail, and then be forgotten.  So why focus on the president, when our Congress members hold the power?

Many people do not even know what congressional district they belong to.  This is the first step in changing laws- find out what district you're in!  Then find out who is the current Congress person for that district.  Familiarize yourself with what they've done, what they want to do, and who else is running for Congress.  Make an educated vote, not one based on the party you affiliate with.  Sometimes Republicans can be very liberal and sometimes Democrats can be very conservative.  Do the same for your House representative  Once you've made an informed decision, find out how to contact both so that you can help them focus on the issues important to you.

Congress power aside, it saddens me to see how after the election others tend to forget what they were so incensed about prior to the election.  If you want to change how this country is run, you can't just complain during an election then give up.  One thing I do know: even if my candidate doesn't win I will continue to lobby for the causes I believe in.  I refuse to give up hope on the issues that are important to me.  Yes, I do fear all the good work being done to bring an end to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but that doesn't mean I will give up if Romney is elected.  I'll work harder to fight for my civil rights.

So as the countdown to the election winds down, remember that YES, this election is important, but NO it's not the end of the world.

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