I know millions of people are relieved (to say the least) that the election is finally over. It was a brutal one, for sure. However, I can’t help but feel a little sad about it. You may be tired of seeing your Facebook feed covered with political commentary and news articles, but it is a refreshing change for me.
Working in news, you would think I would get used to the fact that many people don’t keep up with current events. But I’m not. It still shocks me how many people I talk to have never heard of Aleppo (politicians not included) or ask me “what started” the BLM movement. Thanks to computers, smart phones and live web streams, we have access to more news than ever before. Yet many people I speak to on a daily basis know little about what is going on in the world, much less in their own backyard.
My friends jokingly say to me, “What’s going on in the country?” or “Is there anything I need to know about right now… I never watch the news.” However, in the past 20 months I have watched many news-haters become “experts” on issues that are important to them. Sharing article after article to prove their point, some accurate.. others not so much. I actually enjoyed reading it all. From liberals to conservatives and everything in-between.. it was nice to see people sharing their views, standing up for something, READING the news. I just wish it would continue beyond the election.
Think the political system is corrupt? There are crooked politicians out there every single day. Keep up with political news beyond the election year and you will see it. Take action outside the voting booth. Write to your elected officials. Call them out. Tell them how they can better represent you.
Want to fight for children? There are millions of kids out there who could use our help. Children in our own community who are hungry, have no clean clothes or shelter, or who are getting killed in the crossfire of gun violence. Contact a local shelter or food bank and ask what they need. See how you can help foster children living in your area.
I think it is safe to say the candidates we had to choose from this election were far from ideal. How did we get to that point? We put ourselves there. You can’t keep your head in the sand a majority of the time, pop up for 8 months every 4 years and expect to get what you want. There are primaries, senate races, mayoral races and so much more. The political backbone of your community shapes and ultimately helps decide the candidate who will get the support of its party.
Now that things are “back to normal,” I hope that cute kitty videos will be back in my Facebook feed soon. But I will miss the passionate debates and discussions between friends. (I definitely won’t miss the nastiness and hateful comments) I hope everyone continues to read or watch the news regularly. Take action, start in your own community. Then check back with me in 4 years… and perhaps we will have an election to be proud of.