Is Democracy Convenient?

October 30, 2016

I keep running a TV clip in my mind. A reporter is in NYC asking a woman if she plans to vote. Invote what sounds to me like an irate tone she replies, “Only if it’s convenient.”

When did protecting our democracy become “convenient”? In school, I learned about the founding of the country and the battles fought. And battles continued to end slavery and give voting rights to all. The battles are far from over.

Voting however is convenient. You can vote today in many states earlier than November 8 and you can post absentee ballots from the convenience of your home, with the inconvenience of two stamps and dropping the ballot in the mail.

Convenient. Some people are losing sleep over this election (me) where media has run amok promoting some candidates in the primaries and not all, and reacting to pseudo-scandals as if they are real. In this election, it is increasingly difficult to know what is true and what is false with claims moving at the speed of light. Obviously, we all want and expect our politicians and candidates to speak the truth. So far, Obama is the most truthful politician of recent times. Trump is the least, and Hillary is more truthful than Sanders — click here to see more on this.

Our democracy depends on people agreeing to be inconvenienced. Democracy is a process of unification. We are meant to pay attention to the environment and each other. This means we delay going on an important errand to help a neighbor, and we turn off the water when brushing our teeth. This means we read the most reliable sources we can find to know what is going on in the world—including in other parts of the world—because we are all connected and boundaries are made by people not by nature.

Democracy means educating our children and giving them a voice and a choice so they continue to grow and choose to participate and perhaps one day run for office to protect and defend our democracy which will always be threatened from within our country and from the outside.

Democracy includes discomfort and pushing ourselves to stay tuned in even though we are pulled to the next flashy news story. We better be paying attention to the Dakota Access Pipeline because the treatment of the protesters is a vivid threat to our right to seek information, have a voice and to protest. We have to remember that democracy is built on the premise that we can take a knee. And we can vote.

Voting is the pipeline to preserve democracy. When I hear politicians promising to veto any nominee to the Supreme Court without due process, I am ready to vote. When I hear politicians ready to create ongoing pseudo-scandals to obstruct government, I am ready to vote.

Commentator Van Jones spoke on Friday night on Real Time with Bill Maher stating: “They [congressional Republicans] have forgotten the difference between being a party of opposition and a party of obstruction. There’s great honor in being a party of opposition, you know, saying ‘Listen, we think your ideas are wrong. We can make them better.’ But when you stop the entire government from functioning, there’s a word for that: treason. You have to do your job. You take an oath.”

I am troubled beyond words by this endless election season. And what I can do is vote. And I ask you to do the same. And to vote for HRC. If you are in any way undecided, choose Hillary. If you can’t find a reason, select just one: climate change. One candidate thinks this is a lie and the other is ready to protect the planet.

I am ready to be inconvenienced on November 8.