Vote, but do not be fooled by voting

by Dan Burton, who once upon a time had hair and was skinny.

I’m all about voting. Everyone should do it. It’s an important part of how we do democracy around here. We’re a republic, and we vote for representatives who pass laws, execute laws, etc. And they are selected by voting.

But don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that voting in the next election is going to be a panacea for all the problems that Politician X is not solving the way you would like them to (or, even making them worse…or creating them…). Candidate Y is not going to be the Golden Child that you’re hoping for, even if they are a good person.

And I hope they are all good persons. No matter what party they come from.

If we want peace–and by peace I mean, less anxiety about what’s going on in the world, in our government, in our politics, in our schools, in our dating, in our relationships–we have to make changes at home. We have to show, not just teach, our kids–all kids–how to do it.

The change doesn’t start at the ballot box; by then it’s too late, and all too often we’re making a Hobbesian choice when we cast our ballot (good for you if you’re choosing between two or more good people where you live. That’s fantastic, and I’m happy for you). Unfortunately, too often we elect people who reflect our basest desires and behaviors, the very people we have supported with our dollars, our time, our votes, and our attention as they’ve climbed up the social ladder. We curb bad politicians, and bad social issues, by raising better versions of ourselves and treating those around us as we want to be treated. Ironically, it’s a millennia-old wisdom, that we should treat others the way we want to be treated, that will change our politics.

So, go vote. But then go home and hug your little ones. And your big ones, too. And your neighbor. Even the neighbor whose lawn is an eyesore to the whole street. Because they vote, too.

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