If there’s one thing most people in America don’t like, it’s being objectified. However, that’s exactly what has happened in this last election, and it is likely the underlying reason everybody is so angry these days.
During the 2012 elections, both the Republicans and the Democrats used rhetoric that emphasized the vote of the individual than the individual themselves. Discussion of winning over “undecided voters,” “Hispanic voters,” “Black voters,” and all the other “voters” under the sun sets the precedent that the values and beliefs of the individual aren’t really relevant – instead, the way they fill in the boxes on their ballot are what truly matters to today’s politicians. When I say “forget about the party lines” this is one of the major things I’m referring to. Being grouped is natural – it’s bound to happen because we all like to think of things in terms of groups – but the problem is that we’ve let those groups define us, and the politicians are following suit.
So how do we change from being voters back to being… people? I believe the answer is simple. We need to stop viewing elections as the solutions to our problems. So much of our culture now hinges around these elections every four years, and for the rest of the time we sit around unengaged and uninvolved with the process. No wonder we’re considered nothing more than voters! As far as American culture and politics go, that’s really all we are!
It’s the classic case of workload buildup. The further we get out of touch with what’s happening in the world, or in the country, or even what’s happening down the street at our own city hall, the harder it seems to get back in touch. But the reality is that it’s only as hard as you make it. If your intention is to get involved with a national campaign to support local business, you’re probably going to feel overwhelmed. Getting involved nationally is daunting. Instead, don’t forget that city hall is right down the street. When you start getting engaged, you’ll find that even local issues are far more relevant (and sometimes even interesting) than you ever imagined. Instead of a national campaign, start a local campaign to support local business.
Really, it’s all about community. In your community, you aren’t just a voter. You’re a neighbor, a friend, a colleague, a confidant. You’re somebody who is important to a lot of people, and you can do so much more good in your local community, as opposed to beating your head against the wall trying to start a national movement. Sure, some boneheads (like myself) enjoy slamming their foreheads against that brick wall of national culture, but if that doesn’t feel like your cup of tea, I strongly recommend that you start something local. Running for school board, starting a charity event, organizing a gathering to support a cause you believe in – it’s all about restoring love, principles, and integrity.
We need good people in the effort to restore the heart and soul of America, and it starts in your neighborhood. So stop being a “voter” and start being a neighbor! If you do, then honestly, who cares what Romney and Obama called you during the election? Your community will thank you for it.
Keep going, and Keep the Faith.