A just and fair democracy is not a spectator sport. Just like an athletic team, a just and fair democracy requires multiple players, with specific skills, working in a coordinated fashion, playing by agreed-upon rules, in pursuit of a singular goal.
American politics is currently functioning like the worst team in the world. Some members of Congress have lost sight of their oath and are operating as if retaining power is more important than the health and well-being of Americans.
Recent shenanigans with the U.S. Postal Service have proven that some of the folks in power are afraid that they will lose control; that we’ll vote them out of office. They have removed mail sorting and processing machines in critical swing states (59 in Florida, 58 in Texas, 34 in Ohio, 30 in Pennsylvania, 26 in Michigan, 15 in North Carolina, 12 in Virginia, 12 in Wisconsin, and 11 in Georgia), which will hinder timely mail-in voting. This election is our chance to send a message to those elected officials and kick them off our team!
Other players on our ‘team’ are crucifying Senator Kamala Harris and have declared they will never vote for her because of her record as a prosecutor. Mike Muse has acknowledged that Black men have a problem with her; and suggests that if she listens to their concerns, gives voice to their issues, and reaches out to mend fences, then, and only then, will Black men support her. Yet it was Charlamagne Tha God, Sean “Diddy” Combs and a bunch of other brothers who dared Vice President Joe Biden to name a Black woman as his running mate. Basically, their demand was met, and a sister was called to serve, and they are now criticizing her. Sisters just can’t win…
The scariest player on our ‘team’ is the one who is riding the bench, mocking the skills of those in the game, or worse, riding the bench with no interest in what’s going on. These players are not hard-pressed about the election and are planning to stay home. They need those of us in the game to give them a good swift kick in the butt!
There is one thing I know to be true; our bellyaching about flawed candidates only feeds into the dark sides’ hands. Sisters (and Brothers), we are mixing issues, and by doing so, we harm ourselves. Voting and ongoing engagement with the folks we elect are two different parts of our democratic game, and we need to play both. If you want the game to change, you must suit up and get in the game.
Here we are fourth quarter, down by billions of dollars in needed support from our federal government, and we need a Hail Mary. As it turns out, Sisters, we are that Hail Mary! Another recent study revealed that when Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian-Pacific Islander women tell our family and friends to vote—they listen to us and vote!
There will NEVER be a perfect candidate. So, if you’re waiting for the ‘right’ one, you’ll be waiting for a long time. However, there are usually clear differences between candidates. Millions of dollars are spent by campaigns to help us ‘get to know’ the candidates. For this 2020 election cycle, we already know a lot about one of the Presidential candidates. We have lived for nearly four years with president Trump, and have felt the direct impact of his leadership. You have an obligation, as a player in the democracy game, to learn about the other candidate. Don’t just listen to the news, go online, read Vice President Biden’s plans for America, and compare it to the Republican party platform. Gather information so you can make an informed decision when you vote.
Please pick the candidate who has the best plan to meet your needs and then take your behind to the polls and VOTE!
Voting is just one part of the path to a win in this game. The other part requires you to participate actively! If you have never contacted your elected officials (or worse don’t even know who your elected officials are), don’t march/protest/call and otherwise raise your voice, or invest in organizations that are fighting for your rights and needs, please get in the game.
We may not win every time we protest, but we will NEVER WIN if we NEVER RAISE OUR VOICE.
Today, WE CAN asks you to talk to one person you know who is planning to stay home. Tell them about all the things at stake. Tell them that staying home sends a message to the dark side that they can continue to do whatever they want. Tell them to get in the game!
Stephanie McGencey, WE CAN Founder