Don't Give Up Your Right to Vote
One of the great things about having your own blog is that you can do whatever you want with it. And if some days that means going a little off-course from what you usually write about, you can. So today, just a week away from the midterm elections, that is what I am going to do. I am going to get political.
I'm not one of the ragers. I am not a doomsday predictor. I have said more than once here that I am the girl who looks at the glass as half full, and I believe change is good, even if at times it is hard to get your arms around.
But the one thing that really does incite me is when I hear the predictions that people are just not going to vote this election. That they are going to sit this one out for a variety of pundit-inspired reasons, from those who are just too disillusioned that there hasn't been enough change, to some who are being encouraged not to vote because they are told that will make a statement to those they might be angry at. And, of course, there are those who think their vote doesn't count. That no matter who they vote for things will stay the same.
In most corporate organizations, those mentalities would get you fired. Can you imagine telling your boss that you weren't even going to try and sell a client because you knew already they weren't going to buy? Or that you weren't going to make any more cold calls because the economy is awful and no one is biting anyway? Or sitting around a conference table and when it came time for your opinion, you said you were passing? That you didn't have any?
Or how about those Texas Rangers? The ones who are going to their first World Series? What if they had told their managers that they should just sit out the playoffs because they always lost and the Yankees were going to win anyway? That there wasn't any use in even getting up to bat?
I get especially incensed when I hear that it is mostly women who are going to sit this election out. In Gloria Feldt's new book, the #1 power tool she suggests for women is to know your history. With that, let me remind the women reading this that the Declaration of Independence stated that "all men are created equal." The Constitution, which so many believe we need to enforce by the letter within which it was written, was the creation of a bunch of white men and that women had to fight to earn the right to vote in 1920, less than one hundred years ago!
You can see how that enrages me for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I don't believe in all the predictions of low voter turnout.
What I do believe is that it is media hype. Something else to fill the 24/7 endless repetition of nothing that fills most cable news networks. (Check out Seth Godin's blog for a non-politically directed spin on what I am referring to.)
The majority of us are not political pundits with a blog or show to fill. We are not answering our phones when the pollsters call. And if we are under thirty, chances are that our only phone is a cell phone which completely eliminates us from the process.
Pardon me if this sounds too optimistic for many of you, but I am sensing that all that rage being spewed by the few with the microphones attached to their paychecks, has now spawned the anti-rage. Enthusiasm without the anger. Enthusiasm with sanity. Sort of along the lines of what Jon Stewart is organizing this Saturday. A Rally to Restore Sanity.
I don't profess to have all the answers to all the ills we are facing at the moment. But I do believe we are moving forward, albeit slowly. And I also believe everyone has a responsibility in that. EVERYONE as in you and me.
Voting is one small action that lets your voice be heard. (If the pundits have turned you off so completely that you are uncertain the views of the candidates in your area check out this very cool non-partisan site, Project Vote Smart.)
I worked in advertising sales through more than one recession. We couldn't wait for someone else to do the work to make our budget. No matter how tough and unrealistic, EVERYONE had to do their part. No order was ever considered too small, which meant if you were a rookie with no list or a heavy hitter with a host of clients to cajole, you were expected to do your part and contribute. A $1000 order was as important as a $10,000 order in getting the team closer to the goal. No one got to sit out.
I've chosen to use my blog as my platform today because I am not sitting this election out. If I have convinced even one of you to vote that wasn't planning on it, I'll consider this a blog worth writing. I'll be rallying on Saturday in Washington, DC because I want to support more sanity and get on with the job of getting things moving forward. I'll be making calls encouraging others to do their part on Election Day, so if it's me who you hear on the phone, don't hang up! Most important, I'm choosing to vote. The question is, will you?
Joanne Tombrakos is a writer, coach and corporate expatriate who blogs on life and work after corporate America at http://onewomanseye.blogspot.com.