March 20, 2023

After completing an internship in Washington, D.C., this past spring, I came back to a different political atmosphere in California.

The voices of D.C.’s residents are considered part and parcel of the system; they believe their vote matters. Sadly, many citizens in California do not portray this same attitude.

In the nation’s capital, people are engaged with politics from all sides of life. A unique culture has developed as a result of the engagement of the population literally sitting in and around the doorsteps of power.

This involvement gives them a sense of contributing to a larger part of the political process. The result of seeing power in action emboldens and encourages their participation all the more.

When a person is disconnected from what goes on in that area, known as the Beltway, the less information and the less influence people feel that it bears on their life.

Alternatively, when people are disconnected physically from what is happening in the Beltway, there seems to be a disconnect that comes from having less information.

Having no presence of big government here people tend to become local-issues oriented and feel that the larger issues will not be influenced by their votes.

In reality, decisions are being made on many levels and we, the citizens, often have a say.

Non-elected officials on the national level make policy and implement them as they see fit.

Citizens of the United States are often making decisions apart from the district’s structures, proving the power of the individual outside the Beltway.

Given the fact that the individual person in this country has ample opportunity to voice an opinion that could potentially change how the country functions, it is amazing to find people who are apathetic to voting as their rightful tool.

The reality that life does not always afford a person the option to decide and choose what they see as correct should spur action, not lethargy.

Often people will offer the idea that they need to know more than they presently do and that they would have to follow the race closely to be able to vote. To not vote is, in fact, saying I have nothing to say about anything.

It may be difficult to become informed, but we have brains and we can think. Reasoning humans should try and discover what is best for the people of the United States. We can look out for our own interests and what’s best for the nation, and that good, in turn, eventually benefits all nations.

The truth is that it is understandable and common to feel disconnected from power and a sense of not having influence. It is far easier to give little thought beyond the next meal and assignment.

Dragging oneself to the polls would mean thinking, reading and understanding the needs.

A pleasant life does not have to deal with the difficult issues that face our nation, but we are citizens of this nation and our voices can be heard.

Vote and ask this question: What is the supreme good, what is the best thing for this society, how can we build virtue and ethics into the people’s lives of this nation?

“We the people” here have just as much right as those who participate in the district — let our voices be heard.

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