CHH Politics: Look for politics that affect you

Keaton Brownstead

Now that the election is over, we can all stop acting like we care about politics. Congratulations to Obama. Romney, you’re still rich. This article isn’t about them, it’s about you and me. 

Aside from voting and posting a few divisive statements on Facebook, how involved are we in the political process? How many non-presidential election issues did we research, like in our hometowns? Have we ever called or wrote a politician, local or national, to share our analysis of a topic? 

Face it, most people could name the starting five for the Los Angeles Lakers before they could list the past five bills that Congress has passed. Many would argue over who should get kicked off “America’s Next Top Model” before they got involved with whether or not their county should raise a levy for schools. 

We can all go on about how we should unite after the election — which sounds like a great PR statement — but it’s pretty phony. Sure, we hope our government will begin to work in a more bipartisan manner, but we are doing nothing to encourage it. We need less idealistic talk and more individual action, myself included.    

Voting is a means, not an end. When you get married, you don’t tell your spouse to go away and do as they please. You communicate, share ideas and grow together. Our elected officials are our partners in democracy. If we ignore them, they will become out of touch. We will get pissed off and demand a divorce. Wash, rinse, repeat. 

Regardless of who you supported for the presidential election, look at the bigger picture. Yes, presidents have a significant role in leading our country and being a poster-boy of the Free World. However, I promise you there are many other things going on in the political realm that have tremendous influence over your life. 

And the brilliant thing is you have a say in the matter. In fact, it’s your duty as a citizen. To go against that is to squander our hard-won freedoms, and we are all doing it all the time. The buck doesn’t stop at voting.

I’m still going to watch “The Walking Dead” and read the occasional Dave Eggers novel-pseudo-autobiography-whatever. But now I may occasionally tune in to CSPAN, read the local paper and bother the office of someone important when I feel necessary. I welcome you to do the same.