By Patricia Wilson-Smith
This is Iowa-Caucus Day, and I can’t help but reflect as I bop around the site what an awesome responsibility it is to play a part in this nation’s political system.
And the caucus system makes it even more daunting. For those of you who may not know, the Iowa caucus has been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States since 1972. It has served as an early indication of which candidates for President might win the nomination of their political party at that party’s national convention.
This year, of course, is particularly exciting and historic, as it seems almost certain that either the first black man, or the first woman will be nominated as the Democratic Party’s choice to run for President. It is a very cool time to be alive, in so many ways!
For starters, there is no doubt that we are experiencing a political renaissance in this country; most people, out of necessity, have begun to actively participate in the process, either by paying much closer attention to the issues, or by getting up and out and doing the work for the candidate of their choice. For me, that choice is of course Barack Obama; for you, it may be someone else, but all indications are that more people than ever before in history are taking an active part in the political process, and that is historic in and of itself!
As a nation, we have so much at stake – a War that should never have been waged, children being lost forever in the education system, Americans without adequate healthcare, our nation losing the technology race, and an ever worsening reputation around the globe – the man or woman who becomes the next leader of the free world will inherit an office and a set of problems unlike any other before him, and so we need a leader who has all that it takes to bring the country through it.
What issues are important to you? Have you already made a decision about whom you’ll support? If you (like many Democrats) are locked in a vaccuum of indecision over Obama and Clinton, what hesitations do you have about both? Have you done YOUR due diligence to make sure you know all you need to know to make an informed decision?
There may never be as historic and important an election as the one of 2008. The future of our nation, our very ability to remain the super power we have been for so long is at stake. It is so easy for us to lead our comfortable lives, cozy in the fake knowledge that things will just ‘work out’, and believing that someone else will make the moves to ensure that. But ask youself this – can you imagine being one of the people who did NOT get out and vote in 2004, when it was critical that we get Bush out of office? Can you imagine what it must feel like now to know that if you’d just gotten out and voted and encouraged others to do so that you may have actually saved the lives of some of America’s servicemen and women?
That’s real talk. So this election year, make sure to let your voice be heard. Go to the polls during your primary or caucus, and before the vote, get involved in getting out the vote in your community! Start with your home, then move to your church, your job, and then out into your neighborhoods, but do everything you can to ensure that the voiceless are represented, and that the voiced open their mouths and collectively pull the virtual lever on the ballot box. Only then can we rest assured that we’ve done all we can to make this nation a better place inwhich to live.
And wouldn’t that be worth it?